Monday, August 30, 2004

Sacrificing Isaac

We've executed Isaac, and we call
him hero, having fed upon his flesh.
With oil his skull anointed, hold we high
his sacred goblet overfull with wine
and pour it on the stone as chisel bites
his name into this monument. The grit-
contaminated wine appears as blood
which, splashing from the letter-gouges, seems
to issue from the very rock itself.
We celebrate the dead. We honor those
consumed, whom we have sent to satisfy
this festival of arrogance; we call
them Heroes whom we've offered up to feed
this faithless, fearsome creature. We can find
in any city anywhere about
the globe these granite walls, these obelisks,
these sandstone totem poles, these litanies,
these condemnation curses dug in stone,
these names whose bones, alone, have journeyed home.
We make this ample sacrifice of souls
again, another generation rich
in hope, and hope it's pleased this monster we've
created in our image and our greed.
Our pride has given bloody Ba'al form,
which we now feed our own. In gratitude,
we comfort a parade of widows and
of grieving mothers, telling them, "Be proud,
for he served well, stood firm before the face
of hate, until the gaping maw of Death
snapped shut upon and swallowed him.
You see? His name is here in stone. He is
a Hero. Honor him; remember him."
Remember Him . . . We must remember Him.

By Pete Freas

Copyright 2004 by Pete Freas.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.
For more poetry by Pete Freas see The Mindworm.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Doc Wilson

Old Doc Wilson had great rough hands
With knuckles as harsh as the rocks
That work their way out of the land
After each winter's freezing shocks.

His skill was not in gentleness
Or the fineness of his touch
But he could make a poultice
That would cure a body of much.

He knew the ache of rumatiz,
The jutting of a mangled bone,
The mysteries of birth and colics,
How and what must be quickly done.

And he would come out any night
In the clinging mist or drifting snow
Or sit alone in oil light
With bag and book in a cold home,

Just to see a man set clear
And out of danger's way.
So Doc's hard hand was always near
And never seen to shake or sway.

He pulled many a young un
Who could not come of its own accord
With the skills of his arms
And the mercy of the Lord.

His was the hardness of a land
Born of mountains and tall rocks,
Kept by the daily work of hands,
So made of stern and steady stock.

By David King

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

To hold on

Heavy, white, misty. Like fog
the past envelopes,
cool, slips through my fingers.

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

Monday, August 02, 2004


Straight down
The rain comes
All at once.
Citywide sheets of cascading water,
The deluge tonight knows just where it wants to go.

Angry hooves
In the cold
Strike the slate roof above me,
They outrage
The grass below,
Hard we feel it press, weighing down on us as heavily
As clamps bear down on wood.

More vulnerable than I can stand to be,
A friendless, homeless woman,
Drenched and cold in the black night and wondering why,
I remember fear.
I wonder if the roof will hold,
Whether the outdoor cats got in all right,
Or if we left something precious outside, and it's now destroyed.

But footfalls now are light,
Prancing happily above me, raindrops have become
Friendly, light, and musical -- offering me hope.
Surely our cats know all they need to know,
To find their way to warmth and safety.

And in the morning, after sleep,
On getting out of bed,
I find the razor sharp, staccato, polar air of yesterday
Has given place to warmth.

Copyright 2004 by Diana Strelow.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.