Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Days by the Sea

We, called to return,
    look seaward:
water and horizon touch.

Gold pools of summer bright
    lap at the rocky shore.
Loneliness gathers at our feet.

From where we came,
    shall we return in fire;
water calls us home.

Copyright 2004 by Peter A. Stinson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

Friday, March 26, 2004


Looking at my father's face, I must confront
my own mortality. I marvel at his silver hair,
the wrinkled skin, his blue Paul Newman
eyes that sparkle still. Antiquity has stolen Dad.

Although insurance tables tell me he's
in overtime, and my clock's running down,
I don't feel so old. It's like a jug of water
leaking. I'll bet a bigger jug would make
no difference. Suppose instead
of eighty, the tables topped a hundred
sixty years. My wife's dad died
at eighty-five, but he had failed to live
a day past twenty-five. But then,
I've read about a Russian guy who lived
a hundred thirty-three, still active
to the end. Dad's raised three
of us pretty well successfully,
outlived two wives, and married
a third; he's traveled some and saved
enough to live a comfortable retirement.
That must say insurance tables don't
mean much -- just tell how fast the average
jug will leak, but not how well a life's been lived.

I look again into my father's face, smile,
and wonder at his silver hair, his aging skin,
and blue, defiant eyes still full of expectation.
I splash hot water and smear the lather,
then lift the razor to my cheek and chin.

Copyright 2004 by Pete Freas.
See also The Mindworm website.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

'48 Hudson

We, the impermanent ones,
Who are doomed to a life of going
And coming, day to day
And hour to hour wearing away,
Find in objects a brief salvation.

We found the article one day
In the Asbury Park Press,
"48 Hudson 4-DR, ST 8, green,
Good condition, 5000 miles,
Needs new tires and a battery."

I went with dad on Saturday
And met an ancient woman, hardly
Able to read the key tag.
The car was there beside
Rotted sea tackle and a pipe rack
In the garage out from the house.
"It's sat eight years," she said,
But I could never stand to sell it.
Henry loved it and kept it to himself.
No one but him drove it, till he died.
A heart attack. So sudden. It
Reminds me of him and I could not
Bear to part with it. Here, take the keys."

We renewed the oil, bought
Five tires, and a battery. It
Ground, kicked on the third turn,
Roaring back to life. "For fifty dollars
And a form it's ours!" We drove
Toward the Delaware and
Motored on, passing winding
Farms and pale, still horses. Ripe hay
Lolled in the idle summer.

As we drove, a strange scent
Grew and filled the car,
Tobacco fumes from a long dead
Pipe and man.
We stopped and found a leather pouch
Under the seat frame, eight years forgotten.
Dad looked and put it back.
Then we turned toward home.

Are there
Places where tobacco fumes
And a faded green car will take you?

Copyright 2004 by David King.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Madrid 3rd March 2004

Once again the hand of terror invades all our lives.
Pages run red with blood
Names and faces I have never seen
Never known
Become familiar across the borders of our world.
News at ten, news at six
24 hours the news breaks across the screen
The horror of the massacre.
In such a short time the bombs took their toll of life.
Children returned home from school
No parents to meet them,
Friends lost forever, only the shreds of clothing
To suggest a life once lived.
Today we hear the latest victim a seven month child,
Father already dead, mother dying.
What is this world we have created?
I feel it escalating into chaos
I fear the journey we are on is a downward one
And I am part of it.
Is it so hard to stand in the light
That we prefer to walk in darkness?
Is it so frightening to believe
That we are beautiful powerful souls
Incarnated to care for this planet
That we prefer to inflict pain and suffering
On ourselves and others?
Is it so impossible to stop the hatred
In our own hearts?
I see a wake up call in the images in the papers
Bodies ripped open right down to the bone
A call to reach out across boundaries
To break open my own fettered heart
We take to the streets with our banners
We cry out in our anger and pain
We beg that our voices be heard
Please! Let this never happen again.

Copyright 2004 by Helen Eden.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Brian Boru

Brian from the crags and trees of Banba
Came to the throne of his long-dead fathers
After years of struggle with the Northmen,
Defeating ringed armor and sharp helms
With uncertain, steady force of valor,
Was at last defeated by hunger, hollow
Of belly and unsteady of hand
Though his mind burned with freedom like a fever.

Burned the dream of freedom, the vision
Of days long past, when the land was ruled
By men who rose as the sun rose and set as
The moon falls among rushes. These shadows
Are as firm as courage, as strong as the will.

No matter that pain and death follow this,
that the flesh can not endure what the mind
demands day upon day, year upon dreary year.

The River Shannon flows with dark water
to the sea, runs with rippled stirrings among
the pools of mirror-still motion, reflecting
the sky darkly, as if day were night. Pale
musings of the shadow of thought, of the
stirrings of desire, wait. Men, too, sleep
until the dawn rises and the sun appears.

Many years and many men will die at the hands
of conquerors, killed in battle or hanged
in their garden trees, left to rot like fish
on the shore until dry, dead eyes stare aimlessly.
But the dream never slackens, the hope never wanders,
for the old ones are with us, their shadows remember
the summer with green hills and free winds,
for the time of the future and the time of the past are one.

Copyright 2004 by David King.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

Friday, March 12, 2004


The rains fall forever
Or so it seems.
I should build an ark,
I thought,
Watching the melancholy
Drizzle against the glass.
That's what I would do
If I was Noah and God spoke to me.
But I am not
And He doesn't
So I sit and watch.
The tides rise.
The rivers overspill into homes
That belong to other people.
Faces on the news,
Holding a single prized possession ,
Rescued from the debris,
To take with them
Into a new day.
And I wonder.
What would I take with me
Should that new day come
And the rains stop
And the waters recede?
What will I carry
That I treasure
From the flood?

Copyright 2003 by Helen Eden.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.