Random Archer Demonstrates Theory of Focused Serendipity    Wednesday, February 25, 2015






Just like a couple of weeks ago, my photos this week another random scramble of images that I found in paging through the file and liked. Doesn't mean anything except that I was out of any kind of coherent plan.

The anthology for the week  is  Crossing the River, subtitled,  "Poets of the Western United States." The book, edited by Ray Gonzalez, was published in 1987 by The Permanent Press.

I also  have my library poems and my old poems and my new poems, and this reminder.


I like comments. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. So, if you want to  make me feel all warm and fuzzy, feel free to comment, either at the bottom of the post or to my email, allen.itz@gmail.com.


Here's the do.


Me
finding a theme for tomorrow

Naomi Shihab Nye
The Man Who Makes Brooms

Me
fog on the hillside   

C. P.  Cavafy
Two  Young  Men, 23 to 24 Years Old  

Me
time enough for some

Patricia Dubrava
What it's Like in Wyoming

Me
on the cover of Time magazine

Sarah Kirsch
Sad Day

Me
random archer demonstrates theory of focused serendipity

Karl Koop
Ahead in the Pacific

Me
I have no good word for crocodiles

Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan
Surreal Optics: After Seeing "Dante's Egg"

Me
Four Years: a Memoir of a Time Collapsing

John Bradley
Moonrise: Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

Me
in the news today

Janine Pommy Vega
Blue Hills at Dusk

Me
keeping the dream alive

Alan Chong Lau
Origins

Me
mid-night meditations

Carmen Tafolla
Sweet Remember

Me
maybe that's it











Here's my first of the new files of last  week. After skipping my old breakfast place for a while, I returned on Sunday and faced the every Sunday challenge getting a poem before being  crowded out by the Sunday breakfast after early church crowd. Essentially, I gave up  and did this











finding a theme for tomorrow

back at my old breakfast place
this morning,
by the interstate,
lost in
late winter fog

I slept very late,
so late
that
I can almost see
the church
folk
about to  break the horizon

so little time
to  write this, too little time
to even think of what
it's supposed to be
about

so
I suppose
it will have to be about
so little time,
a theme not uncommon
to a man nearing,  in two weeks
his 71st birthday

not uncommon
at  all

~~~

too little time,
there's something to write  about...

maybe
tomorrow, when
I have more
time











 I start from the anthology with one of my favorites, San Antonio poet, Naomi Shihab Nye. An international traveler as poet and editor, Nye, born in Missouri of a Palestinian father and an American mother, has long  called San Antonio home.













The Man Who Makes Brooms

So you come with these maps in your head
and I come with voices chiding  me to
"speak for my people:
and we march around like guardians of memory
till  we find the man on the short stool
who makes brooms.

Thumb over thumb, straw over straw,
he will not look  at us.
In his stony corner there is barely room
for baskets and thread,
much less the weight of our faces
staring at him from the street.
What he has lost or not lost in his  secret.

You say he is like all the men,
the man who sells pistachios,
the man who rolls the rugs.
Older now, you find holiness in anything
that continues, dream after dream.
I say he is like nobody,
the pink seam he weaves
across the flat golden face of the broom
is its own shrine, and forget about the tears.

In the village the uncles will raise their kefiyahs
from dominoes to say, no brooms in America?
And the girls who stoop to sweep the courtyard
will stop  for a moment and cock their heads.
In is a little song, this thumb over  the thumb,
but sometimes when you wait years
for the air to break open
and sense to fall out,
it may be the only one.








This is an old piece from 2010. Comfort, the little town referred to in the poem, is one of many German settlements in central Texas from about 1840 until near the end of the 19th century. Like Comfort, a number of those communities were settled by Freethinkers, highly educated atheists and agnostics who came to Texas where they could express their beliefs (or non-beliefs) more freely. In those early days in Comfort, the settlers had weekly community meetings to discuss philosophy and the great issues and literary works of the day, entirely in Latin. It is a heritage some of the other cities in the area would like to deny, but not in Comfort Instead, they put up a monument to the freethinkers right in the middle of the historic downtown. We visit now and then for the best meatloaf sandwich in  Texas and stayed one night at a great hotel/bed and breakfast in the tiny historic downtown where we spent a very pleasant night and woke up to a really scrumptious breakfast.







fog on the hillside

fog
on the hillside

slow day
promise

hill country
drive

for a night
in Comfort

where  ghosts
of old German

Freethinkers
argue in the shadows

of crumbling
limestone








The first poet from my library this week is C.P. Cavafy. Born in 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents, Aside from brief periods elsewhere, Cavafy, lived in that city until his death in 1933. He lived in relative obscurity, working as a journalist and public servant, writing and sharing a few poems with his friends. Though a collected edition of his poems were not published until after his death, he is regarded now as the most important figure in twentieth century Greek poetry. In many ways he seems a poet ahead of his time in the direct way he speaks of life in the city and of own his life and of the gay lifestyle of which he was a part. The translations from Greek in the book, Collected  Poems, first published by Princeton University Press in 1975, are by Edmund Keeley and Philip  Sherrard.







Two  Young Men, 23 to  24 Years Old

He'd been sitting in the cafe since ten-thirty
expecting him to turn up any minute.
Midnight went by, and he was  still waiting for him.
It was now after one-thirty, and the cafe was almost
    deserted
He'd grown  tired of reading newspapers
mechanically. Of his three lonely shillings
only one was left: waiting that long,
he'd spent the others on coffee and brandy.
He'd smoked all his cigarettes.
So much waiting had worn him out. Because
alone like that for so many hours,
he'd also begun to have disturbing thoughts
about the immoral life he was living.

But when he saw his friend come in -
weariness, boredom, thoughts vanished at once.

His  friend brought unexpected news.
He'd won sixty pounds playing cards.

Their good  looks,  their exquisite youthfulness
the sensitive love they shared
were refreshed, livened invigorated
by the sixty pounds from the card table.

Now all and vitality, feeling and charm
they went - not to the homes of their respectable families
(where they were no longer wanted anyway) -
they went to a familiar and very special
house of debauchery, and they asked for a bedroom
and expensive drinks, and they drank again.

And when the expensive drinks were finished
and it was close to four in the morning,
happy, they gave themselves to love.












This poem from the picture taken off the web several years ago, from one of the many refugee tragedies that seem to have been going on for so long. So many I don't even remember which this was.
















time enough for some

time enough
to write the novel
of the 21st century
if I wanted to and could

time enough
to write a grand symphony
for bassoon,  accordion and kazoo
if I wanted to and
could

time enough to
learn to dance the flamenco
if I
wanted to and could

time enough to work out daily at the gym
and develop a lean and muscular
body,
like Arnold before he got fat
and started smoking
cigars,
if I wanted to and could

time enough
to  get elected governor
of the ever-so-great-but-suffering-
from-stupid-politicians state
of Texas if I wanted to
and could...

but no time enough,
none at all in
all  my present and coming  lives
to forget the
face
of this little girl so afraid and
suffering

even though I so much want
to












Here, from the anthology, is a poem by Patricia Dubrava. A contributing editor of The Small  Press Review Since 1976, Dubrava has also  had several plays produced in Denver where she lives.











What It's Like in Wyoming

The meadow lark sings in fenced pastures.
In the creek, three large brown trout
hold against the current, contemplating.
When a shadow touches the bank,
they double and disappear.
Mule deer scatter among the cottonwoods,
ford the confluence of creeks
in three easy leaps,
gray coats melting into sage.

A truck's changing gears carry
half a mile from the time it rounds
the mesa till it hits the fork
past the bridge.
The meadow lark stitches silence
back together under a sky heavy
with hope of rain.

Stone-ringed memories of encampment
fade  on a high hilltop.
One could raise the rubbed hide flap
of a tepee, look down
to box elder-fringed water,
up to the Big Horns, slate blue and white.
One would see the valley without fences,
that ranch gone,
the occasional whisper of tires gone,
that golden eagle climbing a spiral
in primordial air.
It would be like that.
It is like that sometimes still.













Even when you thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.













on the cover of Time magazine

she's a pretty girl
fifteen, no  more than sixteen,
with deep brown eyes

and no nose,
cut off by the guardians
of morality -

the  cost
to some  of becoming
an  educated woman in this place...

I want to kill the people
who did this, and more, and
I don't care how we do  it.








The next poet  from my library is Sarah Kirsch with her poem Sad Day. Kirsch, born in 1935, was described at  the time of her death in 2013 as one of the best, most politically astute woman poets of  her time. She left East Germany for the West in 1977 after criticizing the Communist government.

The poem was translated from German by Wayne Kvam.











Sad Day

I am a tiger in the rain
water parts  my hide
drops drop into my eyes

I shuffle slowly, slide my paws
along Friedrickstrasse
and am stone-broke in the rain

I fight my way through cars on red
walk into the cafe for bitters
eat the and and swing out

I bellow  sharply at the rain on Alex-Platz
the high-rise gets wet, loses its belt
(I snarl:  one does what one can)

But it  rains the seventh day
Then  I'm angry up to the eyelashes

I hiss the street  empty
and sit down among honest seagulls

They all look  left  into the Spree

And when I mighty tiger howl
they understand: I mean there should
still be other tigers here











Looking for something weird, I came up with the title for this post as a reference to the randomness of my photos, thinking that with luck something meaningful might come from the randomness. Then, later, I decided to write something that might fit the title.











random archer demonstrates  theory of focused serendipity


I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to  earth, I knew not where.

poets
like random archers
spit their words at the sky
seeking a target aloof and undefined

believing against all evidence
that there is a place in some far-flung soup
of collective substance where the words will meet
in a exquisite harmony of beauty and
desire
where the work ever sought originates
and is found

focused on a providential proof of
serendipity

the poem, the poem, as with all  other creation,
a sprout of accident grown through the constant friction
of happenstance, like two stones rubbed for so long together
one will either  grind away the other or in a time long and distant
both become one, bound and complete

and I will have found the one poem I have tried to write
for so many years









Karl  Kopp is the next poet from the anthology. Author of several books of poetry, Kopp is co-publisher of Red Earth Press in Denver.












Ahead the Pacific

Ahead the Pacific      cold at dusk
our trees bent double in the wind from Asia
bent double like ancient crones      a world apart
a world of water and stars

But the lights      those lights across the lot beckon
to bodies      to young bodies at the bar      to waitresses
to food and money

                                         And travelers we face
the wind      struggle for direction
and breath

                                         Two large dogs      two mastiffs face the sea
in the bed of their master's truck      the wind
outlining      as in stone

                                                      Those ishii  on temple gates guard
emptiness      observe a something  other
at dusk     in the setting sun

not watching us as we fight by      not guarding
our world      not seeing what we see













This from 2010. Still not a vegan by any means, but I wouldn't object to some dietary adjustments.













I have no good word for crocodiles

I have no good word
for crocodiles,

long scaly creatures
with great, sharp teeth

who would eat me
if they could -

I say
save the sweet-eyed Bossies

and eat a croc
instead








Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan is my next library poet.  Born in Santa Monica and raised in Los Angeles, she received her BA in English from Loyola Marymount University, an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia, an MA in literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She earned a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Houston and is an instructor at Houston Community College.

Her poem  is from her book Shadow Mountain, was published in 2008 and was winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry for that year.







Surreal Optics: After Seeing Dante's Egg

Bloomed hibiscus her egg waits sunny-side
up. Her  corolla unfolds red petals,
a skirt of sheared cloth, pulled and stitched with hem.

The seam's pressed with elaborate wrinkles.
Some shallow lobes quiver, her lips long for
the touch of the tendril wavering above.

Blanket of white and soft yolk covers  her,
the cut for an apron to cloak  private
parts, shield her bloomed hibiscus, her  yellow

stamen of anthers and firm filaments.
the wind's tipped stigma still doesn't  protrude
to penetrate  her yolk's fragility.

The bloom can't elude how the tendril eyes
her darkest well, enveloping  the egg's
smoothed center. Air urges  him to suck her

voluptuous nest, cradled and waiting.
The air tells him his heart, his spade, his limbs
should linger above her, streaming music

like a master playing a violin.
the instrument's bow sliding with resin.
Mah Jong tiles floating in the background.

Air chiming, He's Fall. She's Spring and Summer.
The character's oval, red, for East Wind.
The plants  lean in the way two people kiss.

Words say, Such sensuality persists.
For plants,  such sensuality exists.












The next piece more than a little self-indulgent, the upcoming birthday has led me into areas I haven't  thought about in a long time. And, as is my habit, I write where my mind is.












Four Years:  a Memoir of Time Collapsing

1962

Eighteen years old,  in the second month of  a college career, that with interruptions, would take ten years to complete.

The president addressed the nation,  announcing the Cuban blockade. Soviet ships with their cargo of ICBMs destined for Castro's shores are approaching the blockade line. Will they cross the line or will Khrushchev call them back? What happens  if they try to break the blockade and what happens if they don't.

I walk across the campus to my freshman Biology class, thinking, so much for college.

~~~~

1963

Barely a year later, war averted and I was still trying to pass freshman Biology. I am awakened mid-morning in  my dorm by shouts and slamming of doors.

The president has been  killed, shot  to death in Dallas, just a few miles up the road.

For a week, I sit in my aunt's house in Austin, the passing of a president,  the  oath-taking of a new president, and the assassination of the assassin, every moment of the week broadcast on black  and white TV, black and white so fitting for the time.

With great sorrow I watch the casket pass, the small son saluting as it passes.

With pride I watch the parade of presidents and kings and prime ministers marching in solidarity behind the dead president, the tall, ram-rod straight figure of Charles De Gaulle, President of France, a tower of dignity and resolve among the crowd of  mourners.

~~~

1964 

Barely a year later, studying for a Peace Corps assignment that I, in the end, missed, I feel part of history- in-the-making as mimeographed  papers direct from Washington are passed around in class,
plans and proposals and diagrams for a War on Poverty and the creation of a Great Society.

Then standing on a snow-covered parking lot as LBJ, the master planner of all we wished for and believed in, stepped off his helicopter and waved his Stetson and asked for our vote.

We  were the believers then, and, in some near-lost part ourselves, and despite all, remain  believers today.

~~~~

1965

And again,  barely a year later, working for a four-day-a-week newspaper in a small city 75 miles  south of Houston, grand plans on hold, uncertain where to go and what to do next, enrolled in a small   community college where I never got around to attending a single class, the future decided for me  by the draft notice that appeared in my mailbox.

And  a new life began.

~~~

2015

On the edge of my 71st birthday, remembering four years that seemed so long in passing, everything  condensed now into a few moments.

Four years that, more than I realized at the time, set the pattern and the path for the rest of my life.












Here's another poem from the anthology, this one by John Bradley. Co-publisher of Leaping Mountain Press in For Collins, Colorado, Bradley teaches English at Colorado State University.












Moonrise: Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

What good is a corpse, if it is not named
Juan or Jacinta, or Cuerpo de Hombre?
What good is a knuckle bone, if you can't roll it
gambling with infinity for the moon?
Why is this Spanish fluttering through my ribs?
What good is invisibility if I can't darken
the sky over Hernandez with the turn of my wrist?

Look into my eyes and you will see
the dark eyes of that Apache woman, she
who died when they cut the cord
that held us, me to her. She floats
when I look into the water barrel
like a window in a mountain lake.
A radio barks an ad for soap, or soup.
I don't' know who got her pregnant.
The one, maybe, who cut the cord
with his dull knife.

Come with me, Miguelito, the wind  calls to me.
For a few centavos of a minute, come.
The starlight on the shoulders of the sage
that's  who your father is.

Come into the black bean where night hides
form the four deaths of the day.
Well, Miguel, shall we go?
But he never answers.

Love, that's the opening in your side
the knife leaves, and all the faces rush out,
Those who have only their hunger, those who hurt,
those who want you to lie down and hold them.
Sometimes, I do. This makes them not better,
just not as sad for awhile.
The Apache woman, she doesn't know why
she is sad, only that she wants me to nurse
on her thin, funeral water.

What good is a man if all he can do is rake
the gravel up to his chest?
What good is the wind, sin carne like that
when it can't lick you clean with smooth claws?














Another from 2010. A pre-Pope Frank poem, maybe it will change.













in the news today

only
one thing worse
than a pedophile priest

says
the Vatican today -

women priests...

you go girl

you're
number one!








This poem from my library is by Janine Pommy Vega. It is taken from her book of new and selected poems, Mad Dogs of Trieste, published by Black Sparrow Press in 2000.

Born in 1942 in New Jersey, Vega left home at age 16 to go to New York where she began a life-long association with the Beats. Published or more than a dozen poetry collections, she became very active beginning in 1970 with various arts in education and in prison programs. She died in 2010 as the result of a heart attack.






Blue Hills at Dusk

                                  fro Hunche

The dreamer, her hand on the plow
her eyes on the furrow ahead
looks off
something is suddenly wrong
with her life, she looks over
silent fields, blue hills at  dusk
almost as if the landscape would
provide an  answer

The woman at her altar
a cubic stone with
candles
is bent double,,  her dreamer stopped
weighted down by sky, stone, and air
inertia
her tears water paths she will walk down
drop by drop, deserting her past

And the walker, in love with her vision,
the crickets singing her round
the bend, where the best of prospects
awaits her
her dream  is off  tracking a song  she
almost  remembers but
cannot hear
and will break every rule to follow

Look at the star lost lover
relegating every comfort to the one
she faces
having put her basket on that rock
she waits in alternate postures:
hope, grief, certainty, despair
and the one who will carry her basket
does not arrive.

Think of the voice triangular among us
the star in the horn of the bull,
speaking calmly to the one beyond
the one you know
consider the roots growing
upside down
in a milky stream, a sea
a hayloft

and tell me,
where is it where is it
where is the one this one
can talk to?

                       Willow NY, May 1979













This is another piece from last week.













keeping the dream alive

groups of young people
(and by that I mean mid-thirties
to mid-forties - dark suited men
and women in serious, but still
stylish, attire, stream
from the parking lot toward
the Pearl Stables the big, round
brick building that used to be
the stables in the early days
of the brewery, horses supplanted
now by polish floors and
round, white-table-clothed tables
where serious people gather
for serious business and expensive
meals and meat-and-greet pleasures...

today,
a less exalted gathering,
training in the entrepreneurial arts,
a breakfast thing, scrambled eggs
and biscuits and sausage and coffee,
lots of coffee, and speeches
by a panel of "experts" - yes I know,
because  I  was often one of them, a clever
poseur, with a gift for liberal applications
of smoke and bullshit, and
an eerie  near-psychic knack
for knowing what particular bullshit
people wanted to hear on  any
particular day...

these things
always remind me
of those "here's how to get rich"
seminars where business
maestros demonstrate
that having failed in all other
endeavors, it is still possible
to get  rich quick by doing  seminars
for  suckers who  never figure out
that if you really knew how to do it
you would be doing it
and not spending your life
doing overnight gigs in hotel
ballrooms with stain-spotted  carpets
and cold sweet rolls...

but I am a cynic...

perhaps this early morning's
meeting will produce a stable
of entrepreneurs eager to  take on
the world and prove  their mettle,
or, if not that,
at least provide the scrambled eggs
that keep the dream
alive










 Last from this week's anthology, poet Alan Chong Lau. Poet and co-editor of the anthology Turning Shadows Into  Light, the poet lives in Seattle.










Origins

I

by the river
they built huts

faces caked with mud
walking on hands ad knees

pictures drawn in the earth
with fingers and toes
and the words were never wrong

they would not by fire
cracking branches like music
tunes the mountain sent them

faces
the eyes of wanderers
ears hung flappy
as fat mushrooms

lips uncomfortable
in just one place
would begin moving
seeds spread to wind

one morning nothing
only pieces of fingers lips
soft chunks of lobes
threads of hair in the water

huts
mere crumbs of ash
sprinkle the sand with birthmarks
snakes of smoke slither
through tufts of grass

for the first time one looks at sky
expecting rain

2

the crows
return
dotting the shore
with slivers of noise

boys with slingshots
come down and kill
every single one

the water is bitter
clouds sour at the touch

barely scratching the mud
it runs in one thin trickle

the bodies of crows
mingle there
where it stops
making a pile of feathery flowers














Imagining a memory from before the time of memory.  (from 2010)











 mid-night meditation

lying naked
in the summer grass,
pale shadow
under the full bright eye
of the moon-listening
to the sounds of the creek,
the water,
the mating frogs,
sounds of the wind,
trying to imagine
a time
when these were the
only sounds of
night

with the call of a lonely, hungry wold
from the  hills
far away,
the only sounds of life
around us

and we are otherwise
alone








Last from my library, this long  (and reader beware, brutal) piece by Carmen Tafolla. San Antonio's  first Poet Laureate, Tafolla is a native of the city's  west side barrios. A poet, author, teacher, educational  consultant and active lecturer and performer. She earned an BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Texas in Austin and is currently director of the Mexican American Studies Center at Texas Lutheran College in Sequin, near San Antonio. She has  published five books of poetry,  eight children's  picture books, seven television screenplays, one non-fiction volume and a collection of short stories.







Sweet Remember

Sweet Remember
when you ask your little girls to be
so sweet,
so neat,
cry easy,
and  be oh so pretty on the shelf

When our young women
who are decent
are to always be
in company
of strong young men
who  can
protect them

When girls and women
are expected
to  play at home,
which others should  protect,
to always breathe in innocence
and seek  a shield from  heavy news and death,
to sing and paint
and, when appropriate,
to scream and faint

Sweet Remember
that Marta Diaz de  C.
had her legs spread
as someone probed
with great delight
to see her scream
'til  dead

Sweet Remember
that Cristina R.L.G.
was taken in the night
from her parents' home
and husband's bed
and forced to  talk
with massive rape,
incontinence, indecency,
and forced to faint while
hanging by her knees
wrists tied to feet, 'til circulation  ceased.

Sweet Remember
Elsa B.
whose naked 3-year daughter
was immersed
in ice-cold water,
as the Sergeant puled her tits and whispered in her ear,
"Whore, come sleep with me
and do it sweetly
or we will not let
the child's head up
until she kicks no more."
And when she did,
they threatened a
Portrait in Two:
Whore and Child Whore -
side by side in bed
with plenty of volunteers
to tear them both
right through the core
mass party rape in
stereo
and screams
galore
"and then we'll  know
where we can find
and kill
your husband,"
and sad and sick,
to  save her child,
she spoke.

And Sweet Remember
young Anita S.
who was raised to think her woman  hood
was in her breasts
and inside panties and to be covered
in a dress
and then,
because the village teacher was
a critic
of the government
and a family friend,
she was "detained,"
and called a Marxist,
had her breasts
slashed at with knives
and bit by soldiers eager
for their flesh
and had then "Communist"
burnt with electric pen
and shocks
into her upper thigh
and her  vagina
run by mice,
and lived to know
her womanhood
was in her soul.
and Tina V., Maria J., Encarnacion,
Viola N., Jesusa I., and Asuncion
who screamed first and did not think to strike
who'd never fired a gun or learned to fight
who lost their husbands,  parents, children, and own lives
and oft' times dignity or body parts or eyes
and some  whose pregnant nipples tied with string
were yanked toward opposing walls
and back
until babies were lost
and blood was running black.

Sweet Remember
this is whey
I do not ask
my child to cry
to sit sweet helpless and be cute
to always need a male escort
to think that only he protects,
not she, herself, and not she, him
to think herself to delicate
so weak
to hold as inborn right a man's protection
or his pity for a tear on a pretty cheek

But I will teach her
quite instead
that she is her own brave life
till dead
and that there are no guarantees in  life
nor rights
but those that  we  invent
and that the bravest thing of all
to think, to feel, to care, and to recall
is to be human
and to  be complete
and face life straight
and stand on solid feet
and feel respect for her own being
temple, soul, and head
and
that she owns her strong brave life
till dead

The poet notes: All of the incidents of torture mentioned in this poem were  documented by Amnesty International. Only the names have been changed.













Another landmark (to me) birthday meditation.














maybe that's it

another birthday approaching
and, especially when the numbers get higher
and higher, memories, almost never thought of
rise to the surface, crystallize sharp and clear
and the moment is back, I hover
like  a ghost at a time and place
fifty years past, maybe a sunny
afternoon at the base swimming pool,
sitting on the edge, feet churning the water, watching
the commander's daughter, with her
mother, the only females on an isolate base
in a land where luscious, 17-year-old girls
in bikinis would cause a religious riot
if seen outside the walls, while
inside the walls and beside the pool,
a quieter riot of young men
mostly in their twenties, lonely and far from home,
suck beer from rusty beer cans,
clutch their crotch as they try not to remember
their last time at home, their last night
with Sunny Sue in the back of his 54 Olds 98,
soft cloth seats, soft, eager  Sunny Sue...

and  then the ghost slips into another time,
another place, an earlier place,
basic training, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio ,
early in the process of being broken
and rebuilt, marching, always marching,
walking nowhere except in cadence with
40 other feet, being older and possibly
more dependable that the other in the flight,
selected by the DI to be the street crossing guard,
thought it wasn't called a street crossing guard,
but something more impressive and military,
marching ahead of the rest of the squad, rushing
ahead to block each crossing street
by standing in the middle of it  at  parade-rest,
legs slightly spread, left arm folded behind my back,
right arm thrust forward, palm open to all on-coming
like a mother duck protecting her flock
as it passes...

such a strange moment to remember,  not the memory
of the luscious 17-year-old playing with fire,
not the yielding flesh of Sunny Sue, but the last one,
insignificant at the time, crossing-guard and then
in the  second phase, squad leader, hardly
worth such a clear memory, maybe finding
meaning in its clarity  fifty years later, moments
of clear  authority, perhaps the first such moments,
a change unnoticed at the time, a new person
a new self-image...

a leader,
a mother duck  for life
protecting her unruly flock

maybe that's
it









As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me.



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´╗┐Poetry
New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 



Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second






Short Stories


Sonyador - The Dreamer




3 Comments:
at 10:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

so far
mexican dancers great

to pome of ms kirsch:

An orange squeeks when you peel it
What rain means to a tiger..

See her first l;ine

mine more zen

at 4:50 PM Blogger judysnwnotes said...

"to little time, now there's something to write about

Maybe tomorrow"

Isn't that the way - of each of our lifetimes? I am drawn into this "rushed" poem today as much as the first time I read it. --
TIME -- no matter the angle of dissection or connection, it's a power beyond human mastery.

- judy

at 2:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

kid in green atop father?
a wonderful photo

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