Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Three Poem Drafts

All three are rough, but the first one I came up with while walking to the library today, so it's especially first-draft. Speaking of which, I see that someone has toppled the lead child in our local branch's famous bit of public art, which is called "Invasion of the Zombie Children." Actually, the name is "Learning to Fly" and no doubt is supposed to represent children pretending to fly as they leap from stone to stone. I'm the only one who calls it, "Invasion of the Zombie Children," but you can see how I might have been confused. And, honestly, I have to admire the cleverness of these zombie children. Other zombies hang out near cabins in the wood, or in shopping malls, but these were clever enough to realize that you can get decent-quality brains at your local public library.

Recipe

These words have brushed my lips, so take them as a kiss;
but to get the flavor right, it would not be amiss
to add a pinch of passion and one drop of quiet bliss.

A slight soupçon will do! Do not overspice,
just let it linger softly-slow. But if you find it nice,
do not hesitate, my love, to read this poem twice.

God of Battles

God of Battles, hear my cry!
Here in deserts fierce the hosts
encompass me with jeer and boast
and though I fight, I fight and die.
In lenten wilderness of earth
I wander tempted and displaced,
a pelican with sorrow's face,
and dream of life beyond my birth;
but nothing seems to be reborn
save struggles I knew yesterday.
I fight again, confess and pray,
and yet once more my hopes are torn.
But God of Battles! Though I fail,
Your arm is strong with lightning-force;
You move the earth and star in course.
I fall, but You, my God, prevail.

No Epic

No epic for America is set to page;
the stars have not been made to sing her praise;
the Union made of nations, states, and hopes,
has never had a poet set her strengths so high.
And swiftly though I try to tear away
this chill of heart, I worry for my land,
that ere the epic sweep a dirge might loom,
and foreign pens alone may write in future times
of when the chains of slaves were snapped, or armies raged
across the Southern states, and sing the songs
of journeys to the moon, as legends old,
through records frail and brittle only known.
Can we, so near the day, see only pain,
and sing but jeremiads through our tears?
Are we such cynics bred that heroes fade
and deeds are all deemed dirty at the time?
Or do we live alone in Vico's human age,
all ages filled with gods and heroes lost,
that all our deeds ring hollow, empty shells,
since we have lost the words to speak their hearts?

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