Saturday, October 31, 2015

Peace for Our Time, Brothers

Sometimes—and it just might be 
This time around—one has to 
Come to terms with the term 
“Unconditional surrender”— 

But like any survivor, be he 
Vanquished or victorious 
Breaking down each 
And every article of war, 

I wouldn’t guarantee it. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Poet Found Sleeping on the Job

I bet you’ve heard this one time and time again— 
Your next word could be your last. So why 

Weren’t you paying attention? 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I Reckon That Wannabe Done Reckoned Wrong

There was this whole slew 
Of opportunities awaiting 
His every beck and call, 
But each was blind and deaf 
And couldn’t walk at all. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Finally, Out of the Summer Doldrums

The calico dying 
Leaves swirl wildly 

In a grim, grey wind 
Rain pelts down 

In sheets, the poem 
Your writing’s still 

Like that fat cat 
Curled up, purring 

In its fur- 
Lined basket 

Near the fire- 
Place in the corner 

Of the plush living 
Room again. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Letter I Like to Imagine My Father Wrote to President Truman in 1947

The White House, 

Dear Mr. President Harry, 

My English not so good but 
I want to write you about problem I got. 
I know you a good man and you listen. 
I go to America in 1912. There 
I work hard in lumber camps. 
In 1917 I join Army 
And become proud natural citizen. 
Army send me to Europe to fight Germans. 
War over I come back to America. 
Work hard again. Save little 
Money and go back 
To Greece 1936 for find 
Good woman and make family. 
Have two boys now, 9 and 3. 
War and Germans keep me here. 
In Greece then life very hard die many people. 
War over now but things not good still. 
People poor hungry no jobs. 
No money for return 
With family to America. 
You and America last hope. 
Send tickets please. I honest 
Swear I work hard pay you back 
Every cent because I want you know 
All my life I never vote Republican. 

God bless you, 

Anastasios G. Zambaras, 
Loomi, Messenias, Greece

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dawn by the House of Stone That Jack Built

Bent over, carrying 
The slate-grey 

Sky with me 
As I descend 

The winding steps slowly 
Into the garden, 

I cannot pretend 
It’s been easy 

From beginning to end, 
Nor can I not 

But hesitate at the last 
Step and look back on 

To where the house, 

In a sea of jasmine, 
Floats ambivalent, 

As if hewn out 
Of clear blocks 

Of diaphanous air. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Massive Poetic Time Bomb Missive

Dear Tom, Dick and Harry:

Strange you should ask 
What it is that makes us 
Tick—and boy have you 
Ever got me there— 

But I do want you 
To note that 
No sooner do 
We think we’re close 

To taking apart that 
Blankety-blank clock 
Than the alarm goes off— 
No time 

To gather the odd 
Bits and pieces, no 
Time for no 
Bodies like us 

To even blink, 
Let alone think. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

On a Phrase of Aeschylus*

No sea in Syria, no sea 
In Afghanistan, only 
A sea of suffering 
Humanity and if it is 
With difficulty we see 
‘The Aegean flower 
With corpses’, it is not 
Because we have to 
Wade through 
A sea of the world’s 
Indifference to witness 
It but also because 
We do not wish to hear 
The siren-beset ship we are 
Sailing on is well 
On its way to Lethe. 

 *Agamemnon, l. 659
 cf. the following link to see how George Seferis uses this phrase in one of his poems:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stopping by a Grove of Ancient Olive Trees Near Twilight, I Think Myself Fortunate

Lost in recollection
Amidst deep ancient wrinkles, 
This is where one should spend 
The dying minutes of each wasted day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Autumn of My Mother-in-Law

In straight- 
Backed chair, crumpled 

Wispy hands on lap, 
Mind gone 

To the rocky hills and sheep 
She used to tend to 

On the slopes spring 
To summer behind 

The village up here, now 
All behind her she waits 

For the fog to lift 
For a glimpse 

Of winter approaching 
In the lowland 

Meadows that must be 
Somewhere she says—slowly 

Lifting her right arm 
And pointing 

Straight ahead— 
Down there

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heraclitus on the Boob Tube

First notice that 
Nothing is as 
It used to be, 
Thus everything is 
No longer on 
Familiar ground—even that 
Couch potato you once 
Thought was impervious 
To change now 
Looks to be sprouting 
Eyes in the back 
Of its cabbage head. 

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