Sacred Contracts XXXIII:

'Dead Poet's Society'*

I’ve spent too much time               
away from their Holy grounds      
Their imagery and metaphors –               
the ones that molded my beliefs               
through a fine point verse               
that didn’t need to be understood               
to be an absolute truth               
Sometimes it’s difficult to grant the dead         
an audience when the living demand               
every moment you have to give                 
Or when sprinting toward home     
but never reaching its butterflied     
tactics of evasion with your dreams                
So, they become unkempt memorials                 
years coating their cracked spines               
with light inhaling the vibrancy               
of their once richly dyed skin               
Tonight, I inadvertently bumped               
against their epitaph while packing,                 
their shelved cemetery vibrated                 
under the category two imbalance           
Trapped in a web of melancholy               
I wiped the dust, adhered as lichen-               
munching to the embedded words               
carved over their stone allegories               
I thought about their sacrificial lives               
their masticated ribs between                 
the yellowed teeth of glue                 
slowing pulling them apart                 
from the sternum of their bloom               
casting downward when opened                 
seeds across a hardwood understory        
I thought about their hearts                 
vulnerable and exposed in death                 
starving animals vying for remembrance                 
in a dying world too busy to notice               
their once painful existence                 
I thought about my life too, and yours               
among these dormant 'Winter Trees'**                 
the perpetual cycle of this lifetime                 
like some 'Handyman'***               
who could never get ahead                 
despite how hard he tried                 
My weekend bag is packed                 
waiting beside the door               
like a faithful dog                 
there’s gas in my car                 
and he patiently waits         
beside the hearth   
with a meal and warm fire          
Yet, I sit unmoved on this floor                 
listening to the dead orate               
in their forgotten tongue             
He'll understand –               
It’s not like I haven’t told him                 
like everyone else                 
there would be times                 
I wouldn’t choose anything                 
over the poetic verse;                 
letters, emails, texts,                 
calls, or pouting silence                 
It’s not like I haven’t said                 
I wouldn’t be swayed                 
by bulging zippers               
or swollen suitcases                 
by the door               
yes; including my own           
It’s not like I haven’t said,                 
‘If you want to be first                 
in someone’s life                 
you must know                 
it can never be mine.’ ****               
“It was at that age that poetry                 
came in search of me.”*****                 
saved me from the living               
and fateful beginnings           
I am a soul inductee                 
into a 'Dead Poet’s Society'                 
Thus, I pay homage                 
to their skeletal memory               
with the only thing left                 
in this world I fully possess:                 

* 1989 movie title                 
** Winter Trees, Sylvia Plath, published 1971             
*** Handyman, Penelope Mortimer, published 1984             
**** Reference to a former poem entitled "You must know" published 14th July 2016               
***** Pablo Neruda    


January, 1017

Yom HaShoah

( Holocaust Remembrance Day )   
"...I should like someone to remember that there once lived a person 
named David Berger." -- David Berger (in his last letter, Vilna, 1941)   
And what of memory     
for those unknown,     
unimaginable suffering;   
genocide so cruel     
it's denied as believable   
by a society     
desensitized to Truth.     
An African Proverb says,     
"Until the Lions have their day   
History belongs to the hunter."   
But not in this case.     
In this case we remember   
each faithful year   
those like David Berger   
as if we are raging   
Kings of the Jungle     
reclaiming our     
taxidermied History.   

April, 2017


I don't apologize that I'm not         
I've no desire to surrender       
my clean, unmarked skin         
or eyes the color of water         
during the rainy season         
I'm not interested in releasing       
Godiva hair from its porcelain         
like a bolt of Tatsumura silk         
spreading flaxen over our hips       
It doesn't concern me, Time       
falling through the hourglass         
of shape, granules of minutes       
shortening remaining days       
I'm not desperate to submit         
guide an inseam of inches         
with tailored fingers hoping         
for a perfectly fitted match       
Or lounge any given moment       
the dull aching tenderness         
of an internally inflicted bruise       
healing naturally with rest         
Nor can I be tempted, 'cept         
by the Poem, its hardened         
form Masterfully Critiqued         
structured verbs, swollen nouns       
plugging weak leaks tightly with         
personifuckation, metaphors         
of double meaning, dangling       
against moist lips of thought      
an element just beyond physical         
grasp of my brain's plump hemispheres   
spread wide, willing to accommodate   
the most engorged Poetry ever revised     
Enlarged imagery, fluidly alive between     
my chambers, demoralizing syllabic     
stress and iambic pentameter     
for Free, (un)imaginable Verse     
So, no; I'm not sorry to disappoint     
your expectations with flippancy     
over your obvious transparency     
but you've confused my polite     
smile with a woman who'll succumb     
to your desires with just one wink     
subservient to the cat of nine tails     
cliché of your mundane vocabulary     
Here's a hint - Solitude is my Lover     
contains more passion in one finger     
than your entire being could muster     
so open a book; study Poetry     
Learn the definition of Love     
put on a clean shirt, tuck it in     
Revere women with respect     
then, though I'll never promise ...     
Perhaps I'll pay attention  


June 1017      

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by TamArtsy