Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

The Sassoon Collection: x. Particle Show

The Sassoon Collection

x. Particle Show

AND still they come and go: and this is all I know—
That from the mind I watch an endless particle-show,
Where wild and listless forces flicker on their way,
With charged and uncharged parts from small stringy strands
Because all spin so fast, and they’ve no place to stay
Beyond the frozen image of imagined lands.

And still, between the shadow and the image made,
The first desire of all of us flings onward, ever betrayed
As in those stimulant years that weight them, and have passed:
All minds must grasp these particles dancing much too fast.

– Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

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

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
far,
close,
up,
down,
across
or even left and right spin?

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

Tell me Ida.
Please.

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,
guidance
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

The Sassoon Collection: vi. The imperfect cook

The Sassoon Collection

vi. The imperfect cook

I never ordered something to be perfect,
Though often I’ve asked for fiery spicy or without sugar as a small invasion
Of mastering cooking.

I never asked that your dishes
Might stand, unburnt, moist and savory
Pointing the way toward gastronomical peaks like a sign-post.

Oh yes, I know the way to the heart is easy.
We found the little menu of our passion
That all can share who walk the road of gourmands.
In wild and succulent feasting we stumbled;
And sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy senses.

But I’ve grown sated now. And you have lost
Your early-morning freshness of surprise
At creating new dishes.  You’ve learned to fear
The gloomy, stricken places in my stomach
And the occasional indigestion that haunts me later.

You made me fat; and I can still return
for seconds, the haven of my lonely pride:
But I am sworn to partake of variety
the blossom from invention and disparate exploration
And there shall be no follow-up in a failure;
Since, if we ate like beasts, the plates are clean
And I’ll not redirect portions of portions to pets under the table.

You dream endless assemblies of culinary masterpieces
Yet, in my heart, I dread average results
But, should you grow to hate my critiques, I would ask
No mercy from your feelings. I’d have you turn from the stove
And look me in the eyes, and laugh, and suggest take-out.

Then I should know, at least, that taste prevailed
Though flavor had died of wounds. And you could leave me
unfamished in an atmosphere of ongoing appetite.

— 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

The ball is in our courts

The ball is in our courts

The shirts press the skins
looking for the turnover.

The skins set screens to break the press
and force overtime.

The two teams play
without arena staff,
relying on unknown referees,
the crowd locked out of the building.

It is a territorial sport
that knows no season
and cares little about the ticking of the clock.

It is a rich person’s sport
like shooting barasingha
or showering with Krug champagne.

Would my boss keep me from working
if I refuse a multi-million dollar contract
and fifty-fifty revenue sharing?

Would I be laughed at
if I asked for vacation from May
through September
with October for retraining?

It’s not so much that I worry
about the players or the owners
it’s more about the lost life-risking excavating opportunities
for the mal-nourished children of Sierra Leone and Angola
as demand for diamonds by the NBA elite precipitously declines.

It’s not so much that I worry
about lost revenue for TNT and ESPN —
it’s whether this ultimately means
that Superbowl pregame coverage starts around St. Patrick’s Day.

Nonetheless, I am patient:
I can do without annoying puppet commercials
and twenty-seven-attempts slam dunk contests,

but I have one question
is it much of a game
when it’s not the players,
not the owners
that lose their shirts
but only the arena employees and nearby small business blue-collar workers?

— Zumwalt 2011

The Handcuff King

The Handcuff King

Escape pays for now:
suspend me upside down;
lock glass and steel;
fill fully;
water flowing over.

But if my escapes entertains,
understand that it is my existence.
I can handle building-size milk cans, Chinese water torture cells,
underwater crates and being buried alive.

Faced with flight or forced-fight,
the choice is easy
but understand I must force fight to flee:
no escape is without struggle.

But without escape or the opportunity of one,
I must hang on
and for how long?

Until I burst?

Or until I meet the next world:
the destiny of all that depart?

Explain to me the retreat available:
the extrication that sidesteps;
the evasion that slips the lock,
that springs a liberation.

No,  you know no more than I about withdrawal.
You just know more about staying the course
and that won’t help much
when I need to leave, not the visage of death,
but death itself
and its closely shrouded, tightly bound design.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Fourth Post at ChoicePosts.com

If you haven’t visited recently, please check out the latest entry at choiceposts.

Traffic is still pretty low,  so promoting it for now on this site.  Eventually, choiceposts.wordpress.com will be a great place to shop to find blogs of interest — one just chooses the category and see if they like and relate to the author’s top post — if so, they maybe read the other links for that author and end up following the blog.   WordPress doesn’t have anything like this — maybe this will get them to do this themselves and I can stop.  Until then, would like to add a post every week or so.

At present nothing queued up for next week.  If interested in being showcased just follow the instructions!

This is not just for poetry blogs so feel free to recommend this process to others.  If you find a site you really love, feel free to direct them to this link for instructions at choiceposts!  Would like to add a good photography site, good science site, good music site, etc.

 

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)

%d bloggers like this: