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 !  Tatterdemalion

One poem in three parts

by

David E. Booker


 

Father: The Corpse and the Shore
The River slumps toward the shore,
beating as a heart arrested,
waves gurgling against the rocks
as if pushed through callused arteries.

The light harsh,
the Sun appears after a sudden Spring rain,
driving the steam from the Earth
and landing blisters on unsuspecting necks,
the rays focused by the water still
hanging high in the air,
vapors captured aloft by winds
and held like souls in purgatory.

Small flies begin to gather round the
body, testing here and there,
looking for purchase
and a chance to take
from death before – in a few
days – death takes from them.

Son: From the Death Before
Funerals are from the death before
your own, which will be
the death before somebody else’s
and so it has gone
from the first Adam
to the last atom;
until one day
or one night
there will be one death
but not another
and eternity will begin.

Spirit: One Death, but not Another
Well, saw bones, was it natural causes or foul play?
The cop waits for an answer,
weary with a life that has given him
immense power but little effect.

He stands at the threshold of human events,
the ability to act
tempered by the need to know,
wondering if this will be a case
or simply a curiosity.

Pondering something he thought he saw
last night on cable, with too many beers
and selfish shellfish leftovers in front of him
and a divorce pending,
he heard some gal say that we are each
born with a spirit, but we each
earn our own souls, en-soul-ating
our hourly selves with each passing day,
until when we die
says something about how we lived
and loved and lied
– both as an individual and as a race –
and what gods we made demons
by discarding them.
Leaving them to die
by the shore
in the harsh light
of a rain-focused day.
One by one by one by
One.

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Rippling water

The leprechauns and elves of Ireland were once the gods of the land, reduced in size and shoved aside by Christianity. Often today's demons were yesterday's gods, whether they be religious or personal ones.


David E. Booker struggles to learn about web site building, writing, and fatherhood. He lives in a 100-year-old house where pieces of congealed coal dust can be heard caroming through the whole-house vacuum hose as they are sucked up from between the slats in the heart pine floor.
To learn a little more about him, go to David E. Booker >>

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