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Showing posts from September 20, 2009

The Fifth September Song (a hunger poem)

THE THINNEST OF BRANCHES

All the thinnest branches hovering near the ground, bodies in the bending oak like hungry children, each one different, curved, rigid, scowling... alone. Some seem strong, some frail, yet refusing to quit, like those thin shards of beam after the bombs, standing tall, defiant, unwilling to greet their end, refusing to fall, swaying with the selfish wind.

Come winter, the branches will feel the weight of ice. They will try their best not to fall upon the next and tumble headlong into the heap of frozen ground. Winters are a tree’s perpetual war with nature, with itself, its branches; disagreeable warriors and obstinate victims, shattering ferociously in a shrieking plunge to earth’s pitiless mausoleum.

© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman


6th September Song (a poem for hunger)

Do we think we can hold off the march of starvation? Is the dampness of truth holding a talon to our necks as well? Should we give in to it, let it swim down our streets? Can we salvage more pity than shall soon be kept for ourselves? Do you think we’d buy a minute of escape for those dying of a hunger which purchases empathy from our consumption of fear? Is it possible for us to feel remorse greater than our own cowering?

We cannot fend off the devil of famine while waiting for our own…


© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman

7th September Song (a hunger poem)

Hunger in America

This is the story of hunger, the story of famine.

This is the final story to be carved in stone. A story told by men without fear. A story told by brave and honorable men lining the streets with their hands out. A story retold by those that walked by, pockets jangling with an icy swagger. A story retold by men with cars and money motivated by the sounds of a private freedom locked safely inside tomorrow.
A story walking inside us, a story walking by, shrugging, as if to say, “No. Not today, pal.” Nodding, as if to guarantee, “Next week.”

Our noshed tongues waggle without end, leftovers tossed like dice in an alley.

This is our story of hunger, our story of famine.


© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman

HUMAN STAIN - The 8th September Song

The backseat smelled like the human stain, wretchedness, she said, recalling her childhood home.

It was not relegated to the backseat. It was something her mama called, “The fetid pong of famine”.

It wasn’t an odor. It isn’t an odor. You can’t smell it, unless you’re marked with its hunger, she half bragged.

To the clean, the well fed, the over stuffed, the well-heeled, the wealthy, the affluent, it was and is odorless.

They only thought they smelled something as they passed by the car, she recalled.

After a moment of trying to hold them back, they arrived like a torrent, pouring over her burdened hands and between her trembling fingers.

It was a good while before she could bring herself to look at me. She awkwardly smiled and then, with what seemed to be routine defiance, she said her last on the subject.

It wasn’t no goddamned smell, I can tell you that much! No. What they smelled- What those fools imagined they smelled, there ain’t no words for.


© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman

THE LIGHT - September Song #9

We aren't waiting for anything, not for some kind of an event when we open our refrigerator. Most of us know what we’ll find, like a recurring dream, a hazy tide of recollection, a fixed pattern, the light's fingers caressing our forehead, the lunging cower of love's duality, as if we’re enclosed in a cocoon of our own history, time, a mere distraction, not racing past or chattering or trembling when the light goes out. Deliberation’s thief, history, the vision before us, keeping our minute drained of concern, knowing what we’ll find within it when the little light comes on…


© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman


CARNAGE... 10th September Song

And the starving display their carnage through the suffocating stream of my weeping. I stroke their brow. They do not stir like a nourished child. A cherub, weary of truth, sits by the side of the road, “Will work miracles for food” reads the sign in her tiny hands. Passersby roll their eyes, “Another homeless and hungry- Get a damned job!” (Another callous human- Get a damned heart!) The road and alley and home are too filled with the starved.

O! Let it rain! Let it drop a flood of love through the sun! Come rain! Come love! Descend from thy heaven, only to once more ascend, only to fall again and the starving to relinquish their carnage.


© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman

9/11 of Hunger (The eleventh September Song)

When hunger strikes it is not as swift, it is not as jaw droppingly horrific or nearly as visual or pragmatic as when terror comes.

Terror comes as a thundering blast, piercing the rust of contentment, disintegrating steely assurance- hunger slithers in.

News of terror strikes fear and panic, seduces our pounding, frantic wits with darkness, dust and death devouring whatever’s left.

Hunger pays no attention to time or place running our courage over our eyes with the private ghastliness of its teeth veiled in bravery’s demise.

We’d recognize hunger in a crowded airport. Know it if we accidentally bumped into it and turn away from its ugly and careworn face. Terror’s not made that way. It arrives with a most thunderous shot, penetrating the crust of our indulgence, obliterating our steely assurance while hunger slithers in.

Terror calls upon a nation to sacrifice, stand firm where fear imagines it’s safe, as if distance were a cushion around breathing, bravery, the call of sleep.

When …