Saturday, September 6, 2008

Four Poems

Dashed expectations

His mother's unhappiness
was translated into bitter stews,
thin blankets,
sullen silences,
no great dreams for his future.

She had a right to her unhappiness
and he had a right to a mother--
yes, to tasty, nourishing meals,
warmth in winter,
conversation that didn't frighten
or shame, faith in what he might be.

Night Came

Night came, dark blue, rancor cold
She came without stars, merciless

Beneath her, I rushed, stumbling,
tripped by my own furious need

I came to the top of the hill, shamed
by error. How could I face this one

of her daughters? A daughter dark,
a daughter cold, without stars,...

Oh, love fails. Let's eat--bitter
almonds or sweet fruit. Oh, let's dance.

Show, Don't Tell

Americans are like two-year olds---
by bright pictures
of apples, dollars, guns, cars,
breasts and testicles.

Try to convey a thought—

In America, to live is to shop.

The world is no more cruel
than it ever was.

If good or evil could be predicted by skin color,
this country would make sense

And they shake the crib, cry, scream,
"Don't tell me anything.
Show me the pictures."

Blocked Passage/Trying

You might call this desire,
life force,

others might call it the will,
the will to know
and conquer;

whatever else it is,
it is you
and it is still,

and the path, though wavering
and rough, is not new

and before you is a sign,

and life and art are trying
to back out
at the same time,

a frustrated hope is trying
to find its way,

and a stalled ambition is cursing
itself and others, while trying
to ignore all else
and keep its eyes on the path…

(c) (Written by DG; from different periods)