Showing posts from August, 2004

About My Poems --- 17 Poems of Donald Justice

About My Poems

By Donald Justice

How fashionably sad my early poems are!
On their clipped lawns and hedges the snows fall;
Rains beat against the tarpaulins of their porches,
Where, Sunday mornings, the bored children sprawl,
Reading the comics, before the parents rise.
---The rhymes, the meters, how they paralyze!

Who walks out through their streets tonight? No one.
You know these small towns, how all traffic stops
At ten; the corner streetlamps gathering moths;
And the pale mannequins waiting in dark shops,
Undressed, and ready for the dreams of men.
--- Now the long silence. Now the beginning again.


The Voice of Col. Von Stauffenberg Rising From Purgatory

By Donald Justice

"Something fearful has happened ..... The Fuhrer is alive!"
Fen. Fellgiebel, July 20, 1944

That last night we passed quietly, my brother and I.
We sat talking of poems into the small hours;

And saw, at dawn, for the last time, through the beautiful tall windows,
The smoke as of s…

Funeral --- a Poem


By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
August 28, 2004

On their way out
they shook my hand
grabbing fingers, clammy
and old, but strong
like a cold hammer
I could only stammer
a few words of gratitude
for their presence here
tonight at my father's funeral
in a night enveloped by briny past
and rigid fortitude

I stood in that long lonely corridor
while the visitors gathered
and waited in a room of prayer
old and young with grief and fear

My hands now rested
on a thick wooden box where my father
lied in sleep, peaceful,
wrapped in clothe of pure white
after a warm morning shower, sacred
washed his remnant of tremor
now peace had arrived
daisy cutting morphine hopeless!
now peace had arrived
in absentia, at last

I swallowed soured spits,
forgotten pain, and angst in one gulp
before others came forward, aghast
concealed in condoled smile
for another round of pleasantries,
shaking of hands with attitude!

As If --- a Poem

As If

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
August 28, 2004

As if it had never happened
As if it had never existed
As if it was a prank, stunt
or a second-rated fiction
found in dusty paperback
in a dilapidated bookstore
abandoned by nose-high academics

As if you and I were slanted
As if you and I was confounded
As if you and I were blunt
from witnessing tumbling friction
between stingy cat and rat
playing hide and seek for a galore
of popcorn bound crowd and polemics

Histrionically speaking ---
What if it did happen
What if it did exist
What if it was the Truth
not a melodramatic romance novel
smudged with tears
of cheated, cheating wives?

Now comes the hardest part
It must be told
as it unfolds
in a world of reality
under sun or light of moon
"Truth shall set you free"
swoon a worn out line, dying cliché
Truth shall set you free
in dungeon or iron bar
tucked aside from afar, scrutiny
in crocodile guarded land
of free and haunted animals,
caged and groom…
Deep Inside an Ocean

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
August 27, 2004

Deep inside an ocean
I have seen red and blue
swimming in unperturbed devotion
that man reserves for religion's stake

For the tiny red and blue
the world above seems
a mystery, written in a tongue
understood by red and blue
not in any particular oblong
dimension, but the knowledge
is there that the world above glares,
devoid of water, lifeblood of red and blue
that the world above
is kinda, sorta
out of their world,
alien. Only the rumbling of boats
starts havoc in form of waves
or weed like net
enslaves red and blue
murmur of protests
I've heard
deep inside an ocean,
imperceptible, beyond decibel range

Deep inside an ocean
sharks roam like defiant imperialists
they follow the smell
of blood or memory,
past savoring taste of red and blue
unprotected, neglected
deep inside an ocean
plagiarized songs of humans
so adept in singing
in voice of sweet melody

Deep inside an ocean
I have seen a mirror
where my piggish face

Letter in July -- 16 Poems of Elizabeth Spires

Letter in July

By Elizabeth Spires

My life slows and deepens.
I am thirty-eight, neither here nor there.
It is a morning in July, hot and clear.
Out in the field, a bird repeats its quaternary call,
four notes insisting, I'm here, I'm here.
The field is unmowed, summer's wreckage everywhere.
Even this early, all is expectancy.

It is as if I float on a still pond,
drowsing in the bottom of a rowboat,
curled like a leaf into myself.
The water laps at its old wooden sides
as the sun beats down on my body,
a wand, an enchantment, shaping it
into something languid and new.

A year ago, two, I dreamed I held
a mirror to your unborn face and saw you,
in the warped watery glass, not as a child
but as you will be twenty years from now.
I woke, a light breeze lifting the curtain,
as if touched by a ghost's thin hand,
light filling the room, coming from nowhere.

I know the time, the place of our meeting.
It will be January, the coldest night
of the year. You will be carrying a lant…

A Night Like This -- a Poem

A Night Like This

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
August 26, 2004

A night like this brings ice and fire
of bitter and a trapped mountain
standing in stones, glittered like
precious diamonds and proud fountain

A mountain with nimbus from thousands of years
of burning and freezing in a cycle of time,
torturous and pitiless erosions sweeping away
cobbles and boulders in miniaturized shrine

Can a mountain be sinusoidal, rhymes
like a string, flowing in seismic waves
through crusty tectonic plates
wiggling away bones, dead leaves
and zillions of species
piercing other universes
or dimensions invisible,
undiscovered by "civilized" or "braves"?

A night like this brings ice and fire
of throttling "spirits" enmeshed in silent twister
round and round that goes and goes by bitten
monk, rabbi, priest, imam and prankster
delivering customized sermons
deciphering complex hegemons
forgettable but potent
for destruction of mortals and the spirit world alike

A night like this b…

True Love --- 10 Poems of Robert Penn Warren

True Love

By Robert Penn Warren

In silence the heart raves. It utters words
Meaningless, that never had
A meaning. I was ten, skinny, red-headed,

Freckled. In a big black Buick,
Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat
In front of the drugstore, sipping something

Through a straw. There is nothing like
Beauty. It stops your heart. It
Thickens your blood. It stops your breath. It

Makes you feel dirty. You need a hot bath.
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched.
I thought I would die if she saw me.

How could I exist in the same world with that brightness?
Two years later she smiled at me. She
Named my name. I thought I would wake up dead.

Her grown brothers walked with the bent-knee
Swagger of horsemen. They were slick-faced.
Told jokes in the barbershop. Did no work.

Their father was what is called a drunkard.
Whatever he was he stayed on the third floor
Of the big white farmhouse under the maples for twenty-five years.

He never came down. They brought everything up to …