Zumwalt Poems Online

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The Sassoon Collection: iii. Blonde

The Sassoon Collection

iii. Blonde

Her head-weak thoughts that once eagerly gave way
to looks that leapt sure from eye to brain and into heart,
Weaving unconscious promises of love,
Are now thrust outward, dangerously heard from lips to air.
And he who has watched one world and loved it all,
Star-struck with blindness, an ensnared example for pity,
With feeble hopes of attracting a returning glance,
now listens with his ear to the rambling noise.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

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The Sassoon Collection: viii. Middle Age

The Sassoon Collection

viii. Middle Age

I heard a creak, and a groan
And felt a twinge of wooden pain
A man running in a crowd
Deep in its shadow he moved.
‘Ugly work!’ thought I,
Gasping for breath.
‘Time must be cruel and proud,
‘Tearing down this body.’

With gutsy glimmering shone
my dignity as the wind grew colder.
This aging man jogs over the hill,
Bent to make the grade
‘There is no gain without further pain’…
Sluggishly passing the trees.
Aches in the joints were shrill,
As unmeasured steps sank into the hard asphalt.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

Since Unkulunkulu had no email

Since Unkulunkulu had no email

The chameleon was sent to say “let them not die”
but tarried, stopping continually to blend in.
The lizard, eventually was sent,
and lost both its tail and part of its message
and before regrowing either,
proclaimed, “let them die.”

And so die they did,
but with death was the message of the chameleon:
invisible when still,
discernible when in motion.

– Zumwalt  2011

(With heartfelt tribute to zendictive’s blog)

The Sassoon Collection: iv. Butter and Eggs

The Sassoon Collection

iv. Butter and eggs

Robust diners, deftly forking in the fat.
O no longer living triglycerides against the heedless tongue
Of buffet and banquet days, what sends them gliding through
This set of dancing teeth?

Theirs are the hungry cadences between
The enraptured chewing of hefty humans that make
Heaven in the booth while second helpings simmer;
And theirs the faintest whispers that hush the desire.

And they are as a released soul that wings its way
Out of the starlit dimness above the moon
And they are the largest beings — born
To know but this, the phantom glare of fullness.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

Stop the chop, chop, chop.

We
see
a tree!  A tree!
Since it’s the last one living free
We will grab it quickly for our family.
A Tree!!!

Crop the lower middle to the
Top off!
Chop!!! Chop!!!
Don’t yet Stop!
Hear the Plop!
Chop! Chop!! Chop!!! Chop!!! Chop! Chop! Chop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Zumwalt (2011)

(see related poem https://zumpoems.com/2011/07/10/theyve-stripped-the-forest-for-babble/)

Zumwalt’s response to http://dversepoets.com/2011/11/17/form-for-all-beth-winter-hosts-staccato-form/#comment-5757  This is, in Zumwalt’s words, “a crime against this staccato form that pales in comparison to crimes against nature.”)

The Sassoon Collection: vii. The Manager

The Sassoon Collection

vii. The Manager

‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the well-rested manager said
When we worked through the night to finish on time
the urgent assignment he failed to review and release
until late afternoon.

And we mock his insincerity as a matter of routine:
‘I work for you’, ‘What can I do to help you finish this sooner?’
As our stomachs growl from the coffee machine brew
But nonetheless still polite to his face
since by his judgment alone is our performance scored.

— Zumwalt (2011)

The Sassoon Collection: ii. A pickle and a black hole

The Sassoon Collection

ii. A pickle and a black hole

Mass and form had the pickle, sweet, sour, tall and straight;
The round black hole collapsing still further then it knew
Made its longest shadow with gravity
A ghostly bridge ’twixt the pickle and space.
But stars, with their continuous day, must pass;
And blustering winds will stretch all gherkins
to which I’ve no measurements to express
the moment of conjunction,
a singularity with no exit
for stars and pickled cucumbers alike.

— Zumwalt (2011)

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