Four poems written long ago. None of them are terribly good, but I’m willing to own up to my past!
Ah, ‘Possum. Hanging down
but right side up. Is your tail a rope,
your face a smiling frown?
Like a man at the gallows, devoid of hope
who, dangling, ponders the noose,
you are granted wisdom and see life askew.
Your binding tail won’t let you loose,
death comes. But you always knew
suspended there, pondering life,
that people are wrong.
We cause so much pain, buy comfort with strife,
not seeing its love that makes us strong.
Darrel shoulders his rifle, squeezes the trigger to fire.
Farewell, Mr. ‘Possum, to a fate so dire.
The white glow of the screen
warms the gentle rain of keystrokes
that erode and shape the topography
of narrative and verse.
Inside the computer ones and zeroes
gather and run away in write and rewrite
as the architect figures the angels,
creating form from static.
He plays with phrases, cliches and expectations
like a child whose Legos build cities, planets
and lunar outposts. His words create worlds.
Asphalt conveyer belts carry
rusty Chevies of primered people
to the new and improved industrial
machine on 122nd street.
Uniform lines of corrugated steel paper
doll men first glow, then bend, finally pour,
into the machine as calloused hands
flow into hammers and anvils.
Legs discarded, the welder’s arc
fuses hunched over spines to a line, assembling
the honor guard of the conveniences
of tomorrow and the castoffs of today.
Gray and ocher skies mirror
Vulcan’s pits as the 122nd street
fires reduce ore to slag and
make molehills out of men.
Disposable razors are smeltered at 122nd street.
Grinning, the matron looks at me
through eyes closed.
Spotted hands cross her naked chest, their wrinkles
the only companions for her dried up breasts.
Pain. Sorrow. Joy. Written in Sanscrit
among the folds of this fleshy tablet.
But no cypher unlocks her story, now lost. The release
is signed, the orderly closes the final door.