Monday, March 14, 2011

People Murmur as They Pass

Soldiers have their band of brothers
And Christian saints set lights 
On hills to be seen
But poets lurk in dark corners

Writing words that stay sealed in books
That they hide under piles
Of heaped illusions
For fear of being found out

Hearing people murmur as they pass
Saying: there's the poet, the freak
We judge you and condemn you
As being too different from us

But I stand up and throw down the bands sealing my book
Speak word of wisdom and foolish thoughts
And point my finger and say
You too write poetry

Glass and Light and Tears

In the top of the box lay a bit of
     glass from a second hand store
I picked it up and saw three kings
     from the nativity bearing gifts
Excitedly, I stood the glass on its base
     the kings simmered in my lights
I sat and stared and a tear caught my
     eye, I had three earthly kings 
But where was their king? I was missing
     the most important part
Here in the desert, not far from
     where the three began
I was celebrating Christmas in a wooden hut
     far from my home
My friends, my family, so distant
     the sounds of guns so near
Tears ran down my face such that
     it would shame most soldiers
The glass kings changed with  
     light bending through my tears
Colors, textures became muted
     blending 'til becoming soft and real
I looked on a desert land and a
     caravan with the kings
The caravan stood still, camped for
     the night, with 
Servants, drivers, and camels burdened
     with goods needed for travel
In the distant sky hung a star
     I could feel its mission and glory
And I heard the voice of a king
     "Tonight is the night 
"Let us stop to celebrate and worship this night
     and this day"
I saw the other kings nod 
     and the vision faded
And became again glass
     and light and tears
I remembered those kings
     noble and great
Away from their homes and families
     but not alone
I wiped my eyes and left my room
     to find my fellow soldiers
To worship with

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Purple Irises Fading

Our feet move more slowly
     resolved, but hesitant
A two liter bottle
     with the top cut of
Balanced in my hand
     purple irises fading
But freshly cut
     from our garden
Overflow the top
     as we pass 
Monuments to soldiers
     past and perhaps present
To a place where
     things are small
Child sized, except
     the trees that stand
A scott's pine is the guide
     and tall it stands to
Guard its burden
     beneath a small stone
I kneel almost bowed
     And place my offering
Down wetly and with no grace
     And wetly the girl
At my side and I morn
     the older brother
She never met
     and the son
I knew for too little a time

PTSD Screening

I wait, looking around the room
The faces are familiar
Though I've never heard there names
Old, young, men, women
The only common bonds
Are service and chains
Connecting them to that service

To days that were filled 
With monotony and time
Waisted for lack of anything
Better to do
While waiting for a time
When their skills
The needed work
Came fast, furious
Without relent

And now they wait
To find the cure for
Such precious work
Or simply to pay
The price for their
Unfulfilled waiting