Zumwalt Poems Online

Message to Ida Straus

Message to Ida Straus

Don’t ask me where —
send her this message
and do more than that:
get a reply.

What happens after the wave takes you off the deck chair
and the water floods your senses
freezing your skin, bones
filling up your lungs
topping them off for the long journey?

Where do you go?

How do you go?

What unexpected toll roads demand offerings?

Must you give?
Do you give?
And if so, what?

Are you totally passive as
you are guided (or perhaps coerced, kidnapped?) and taken far away

Or is there
or even left and right spin?

Does space and time collapse, dissipate, solidify
are they a porthole,
barrier or,
maybe along with energy,
exposed outright as some new media hoax?

Tell me Ida.

Are you in heaven?
Are you suffering for your sins or another’s?
Have you seen an afterlife, a next life — maybe two or three?

If so, is it on Earth — or in a mildly warm pool under the frozen surface
of one of those strange moons of Saturn?

Do you have two legs, seven or sixty-four?

Do you live in our universe?
Or maybe another one?
One that expanded a trillionth of one percent faster
or a billionth of one percent slower
or that has rules so different that I must allow that
getting a message to you is harder than getting one to Garcia?

Take that immediately to her
and get a reply.
Don’t ask for overtime,
or extension of in-network physician coverage.

Anything you need —
just build, figure out, make happen —
but get results

and when you come back,
all that you have learned
is the property of your employer.

And in return
you will be in line for promotion
or, depending on the whim of others, mentoring someone else.

– – Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011


Comments on: "Message to Ida Straus" (15)

  1. well, that was something! i had no idea who she was and after wikepeding and, learning that she and her husband and many others went down on a sunken boat and you write a poem about her..asking questions about after life with hints of handing over souls 9-5 punchclock drag. yeh. love this.


  2. The photo (manipulated?) is picture for this poem. You know, I have decided I was the employee sent to get the answers, and now am officially a mentor! My favorite lines?
    “What unexpected toll roads demand offerings?” I have traveled many such toll roads and never once been swept out of my deck chair overboard!


  3. I love the words you have used the entire poem grabs me I have to say I do not understand it but I love it I do not need to understand to know I like it. The lines f so, is it on Earth — or in a mildly warm pool under the frozen surface of one of those strange moons of Saturn? That is where I want to be in a mildly warm pool under the frozen surface of one of those strange moons of Saturn, please.


  4. A lovely poem and you put a lot of thought into it, like the picture to.


  5. wow, I fell into this poem (~_~) hook, line and afterlife…waiting for the reply…


  6. Amazing poem – one of the best of yours I’ve read! Feel like I’ve been on a journey beyond space/time with karma in the driver’s seat………..


  7. that picture is captivating.. and the poem is utterly awesome, i enjoyed every line


  8. This is amazing, I feel. You seem to have encapsulated every question anyone’s ever had about life, the universe and everything, where science, religion and philosophy meet.


  9. wordsfallfrommyeyes said:

    How thoughtful, this poem. It makes you think. Just think. Your words are put together lovely.


  10. A clever crafting of lines, my friend. Fascinating word usages and brilliant Q&A within the structure here. Love it!


  11. very nice…i took the same route wikipedia-ing to see if i could get some back ground…we all carry these questions around and i fidn it interesting who you chose to ask them of as well…


  12. very cool…had to look her up as well.. and love how you captured her…great lines on the titanic..made me swallow hard – i’m leaving with some food for thoughts here..


  13. willowdot21, dribblingpensioner, zendictive, Betty, abichica, df barker, wordsfallfrommyeyes,Vampire Weather, Brian and claudia,

    Thanks so much for the comments. All very interesting! There are a couple of links included — one for the spiritual (Ida) and another for the worldly (Message to Garcia.)


  14. Wow – Swimming in a world of words here – What an amazing – Unique- style you have ….


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