A poem can be an ordinary thing
slight, hardly noticed
like a sentence
in a long novel,
in its self
a poor little thing
conveying a thought.
Isolated from the tremulous
racket of all the other voices,
why is it
here at all?
Do we breathe?
Would one breath stand out
among all the others –
and if it failed
would we be
here at all?
Technology the ‘great savior’
of economy erases us
when the child learns
what his parents do not know
It’s the pace of change
the massive decade shifts
a rain of I-pads now
the internet ten years ago
each a wrenching shift
drugs flowed in.
It’s faster than generations change.
Children cannot understand parents
parents can’t teach their children.
Drugs flow in
All to make an economy work
there are only short visions
on ten year plans
drugs are in.
So much in our lives is sent to the attic
a place for memories to decay, or hide,
the images of families, the nice, and the sick
in tea chests along with thin doilies and the pride
of handicraft, layered with daguerreotype
of stiff, remote relatives we never knew.
These are nothing to us now. It’s the living
we tried to bury in newer boxes, out of sight.
We sift through the unshuttered remains,
journals describing a shattered marriage, and lost children,
notes from friends and lovers
residues of a long life, class notes and skates, aluminum pans,
boxes of obtuse technical papers, all the useless receipts
and obligatory tax returns..
Rubbish Man simply flung it all
out the window.
For a moment the past flew by
descending, crashing to earth
three stories below
shattering attachments, and the voices
that roared out of the trunks
leaving cluttered floppy disks in the grass,
smashed glass- framed honoraria,
and all the things we thought would be useful some time,
records and board games, monopoly houses underfoot.
Did clearing the attic encumber us less,
take the voices from our heads
bring quiet to our gut?
This we don’t know,
charged a lot..
Kent Bowker 12/6/2010