A country emptied by the fear of war.
from The Dream of Lee, Reynolds Price
WE sat together in a coffee bar,
sheltered from the gentle autumn wind,
streaming the speech of Russian subterfuge
an out-of-style wartime
dream, a shadow war played out
on social networks filled up by the fear
I sat yesterday at the scene of a previous poem,
listening to a unctuous woman recite M. L.
Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, cringing at how poorly she scanned it.
Poetry is often the refuge of people stuck
between an old truth and a new expression.
and I respect what they’re grasping for, and I’m proud
to be an American
So I played marches with the band,
sitting under a tent in a parking lot
and listened to a recording of I Am the Flag
the high school JROTC played through speakers
connected to someone’s iPhone, while they
passed a folded flag to anyone
who wanted to touch it.
The ritual would not have been diminished by
Quaker silence, an undeclared question.
He played taps again under the tree,
a sweet, sad, eternal bugle call.
More to do with professional life and prose writing than poetry, but just about every day at work now I get another idea for a work-related blog post and/or the need to write some copy for something. It has not been a big part of my job in the past, but my role is changing a bit and I’m finding myself more in a marketing role.
This would be absolutely fantastic for me as a writer if I had the time to do the work… unfortunately my concentration gets splattered all over the pavement on a daily basis. I have noticed that every single thing I do raises the idea of two more things I need to get done; this is the reflexive response of my boss/client. There’s a poem in there somewhere, as well as a Zen koan.
One month to the day
is when I finally dream of him alive
not counting half-awake forgetfulness I should tell Dad about
We are both in hospital sharing a room perhaps it is another accident
my reasons are vague, the mild, hopeful complaints
of hospital dramas where the patient goes home
And I cannot remember our conversations
In the dream, I can’t remember how I got there which sounds like something serious, actually
Dad and I actually talked, five or six weeks ago about how tired he was of the hospital I recalled my own stay, the connection even I knew was limited – but all I could offer I almost got away with it. He grinned “but you were getting better.”
He didn’t know what kind of body to expect he just hoped for legs that worked.
And it’s only when I wake up
that I remember Dad is gone
from the hospital for good
Dad is gone for good.