To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Uncollected Poems (8): A Poem of Beggars


a woman
on the ground

convulsed her hand
in rapid motion

begging begging
earth against her back

her body hidden under
blackened cloth


without a tooth
left in his mouth

the man is prey
to hunger he is cold
& helpless

but the small bell
in his hand

the more it rings
the more the flies
move in

& seal his eyes


a city
whose inhabitants
are blind

they multiply
& fill your streets

when the night
has made them

they hurry back
into the earth

true to their faith


the poem of begging
still eludes us

let us all address
our fathers

waiting for a hand
to pull us back


holy voices
cut like swords
above the city

amplified & roaring
over speakers
from a hundred turrets

like the bim bom
bells make
in the polish air


a beggar
crawling on his knees
over the metro floor

he says
I have a hunger
& the others

stare him down
these apparitions:
petals on a wet black bough


all beggars all thieves
all eager to escape the world

all locked in ice
all blind

all prisoners of their minds
all brothers

July 2001

[This poem was recovered, along with numerous others, in the process of assembling a volume of otherwise Uncollected Poems, scheduled for publication by Mark Weiss & Junction Press.]


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Anonymous said...

these have sentimental meaning
to my heart and soul a mother longing to reunite w her long lost
daughter and willing to help the needy for charity work