How Can I Compare

How can I compare you to flowers
.                    I cannot name,
but to color, texture and form,
.                    I can
as I watch your grace
.                  bending to the pansies
plucking off the dead heads
.                 the deft flow of hand.
And your delight in the popping forth
.                  of crocus and sweet hyacinth,
I would liken you to all of this,
.                  ending the winter,
bringing forth, too, your orchids
.                 your great successes.
How barren this place would be
.                 without you.

.                                            Kent Bowker
.                                             12/21/2012

Some Things Keep Rippling

Some things keep rippling through your life
for me the nuclear connection and subsequent strife
I met Oppenheimer at a party, studied physics then
attended one of his seminars, watched him when
he was crucified at his hearing, and I was losing
the clearances that allowed me to play amusing
meson experiments on Berkeley’s cyclotron.

We have been taught to close down
not talk about knowing, good or evil,
a life time not talking about what we do,
about implications; the detail is dull.

Those years keep coming back
even as every one then now dies
few left now to recall the horror,
all it implies of Bomb, and implicate evils.

The victims are shunned,
reminders, no one wants to see
the paranoid  selfishness that owns it,
as profits were to be made
of all of it, sold to private ownership,
bombs, fuel, reactors, all
after Oppie was cast aside.

Energy pumped up, affluence veils our vision,
not seeing reactors ageing dangerously
not seeing gasses fouling the atmosphere
polluting drinking water, acidifying the sea,
for two cars in every garage and big TV’s–
no one wants to pay the cost.

Worry rumbles beneath sports bar talk
of football, baseball, hockey, the little violences,
relieving the pressure of dwindling incomes
plundered pensions, water not fit to drink.

Kent Bowker   12/23/12

The Stent

I’m in Health Care’s  belly,
I’m denuded, frocked, and bedded into the Cath lab, my Docs are there
.           to send a snake into my plumbing.
They find a block, balloon in a Stent, I get a patch on my groin
have a hospital lunch            I’d settle for anything
wait to move upstairs for overnight recovery.

No room in the inn, stay in the recovery room
all the other patients are gone
Cath lab will be closing soon
nurses are laughing, a good sign.  But
Death’s dread figure dances / outside.
Sneaked in with a Vasovagal event
Heart stopped, I fell, I think now, there was nothing
no St Peter, no Krisna, nothing
bells rang, nurses rushed,   I missed a piece of time..

Waiting       Being here is waiting     For release
I’ve a hunger headache, constipated, wired up,    Can’t move
Can’t shit,   but piss a-plenty

Always a struggle for life
against the bodies natural path to death,
else despair rushes up early     so many poets died that way.
Observe the road marks, our Burma shave signs,
Vasovagal events,  gasping for breath,     steps too much to climb.

It’s too early, perhaps, for me to die
but this way is attractive
the cost but a moment of nausea
then sinking away quietly.

Do we hold on until it’s really bad
until there are untold interventions.

Juggle  questions of eternity,
know  about infinity,   about decay and dust,
the eternity of particles lost in black holes,
and the black hole the godless spirit
goes to with the last / quieting breath,

but not today,    love claims me back
free of gasping, dire implants, or shattered breast.

Kent Bowker      12/8/12

Break we must

Break we must the duty stiffened spine
and thus soft, recline and enfold these gifts
of affection that are ours and thus decline
the worlds news and wayward shifts
of fortune, keep it out, even shout,
‘stay away’, for love is so easily, sadly diverted
by the clamorous, by confusion and doubt
by all we need or have, so easily perverted.
I need the simple, the unqualified, you can give,
all that I too often hide in habit,
the mired rhythm of the life we live
and all the love we have within it.

Oh, soften belief’s stiffened spine,
and together my love, all doubt decline,
let us kiss and in love entwine

Kent Bowker