Friday, December 30, 2005

Some stuff for the New Year

Here it is coming up on New Year, and this week we’ve watched rabbits in the snow and cardinals in the trees and found this image there.


New years slide along the white frozen snow
arriving with the edge of winter like rabbits near the forest
One minute the red birds are pecking at snowdrops
And then it is new, sunlight banishes blizzards
We blink our wrinkled eyes, make morning tea anew
here is a another gift, another chance, resolve
to take it, you, embrace it.

Last August I posted an earlier rewrite of this poem (dedicated to Ms. Cindy Sheehan). You may compare this version (the latest), with that one. I sincerely desire any comments on the poetics, but I am lately disgusted to death of politics, and will remove any comments which discuss any political views.

(Lament of the Combat Medic)

The men who die in the patriots noise
Are known by the timbre of stirring words

We ... Who caressed their terror
Who packed their hearts into sterile plastic

We know the dead are not words
Hidden behind glittering golden stars

Huddling, a sad-faced family
A woman, a grim father, other children

Who know the terror of seeing a face
Suddenly among platitudes

Love them all, dead wounded and living
And weep for their sorrow.

Love them more for their honest tries
At hiding grief ... we all hide grief

Bring them home in public, let the children see
Stop hiding the cost and heroic loss

Remember their sweet young faces
Who stood for what they must, who did.

As I said, the rough stuff, but it occasionally gets smoother. Here is another which was listed below, and has now fallen under the rewrite trap.


Sand and bombs and ugly little
desert spiders and a rancid smell

death on the street or fear in the locals?

Sitting in the waiting room at the VA hospital
spinning the new wheelchair smells like a new car

no spiders here no locals and maybe no bombs

but we still watch with the good eye
Talking to the new wounded and comparing

wheels like high school kids.

To be honest, I like the run of the words, but am not sure what structure to impose. I think both this and the one below could use different tools to make it work. Now, here is a new long one, about the old and young wars and who gets to practice what ... Needs a title. For now the working title is


Bits of color flash in the palm, fingers tighten, loosen twist and twitch in nervous candor
Something in brown and tremulous hands held airily or softly or in fear of breakage
Hands sit, not quiet in the lap, the nails white, now moving over a silver chair arm
One to reach past the stumps and test the black wheels, gripping chrome and squeezing
Power in the tendons, but one to stay and squeeze the bits of color paper
Now, the wheels move in arcs the arms in piston pumps and here the paper falls
We run to catch it – pick it up, give it back - the chair is circling and we see it as he speaks
Drab and wretched persons near a wall, children in the dirt and soldiers tall, smiling, armed
A wartime thought that looks like every grey miserable abject sorry picture of a war
Two soldiers, proud, brown and khaki clothes that say America, smiles proclaiming youth
Our acquaintance in the chair is tall, ignoring the people and the children, but happy.
The chair has found its power sliding graceful to our feet, and not reaching but speaking
It is a test, how can we learn to move but never walk, to ride the arms and scorn pity
It is a test to learn acceptance and every day I print a new copy of the old picture........
The chair it spun agile and adroit – we gasped and then was gone in bright daylight
We continue walking shamefully, sunlit skies are not the color of awkward guilt
At home we find we lost the picture, oh well, no sepia war here. White wine, blue fish.

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