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Tony’s Poems

These poems were written during the Poetry Half Marathon sponsored by StarkLight Press on September 13, 2014

An epigram to start the day:

Apparently poetry trumps occupational first aid,
Instead of rhyming in my truck,
I can compose in the shade!


Poem 2

Manned by spirit
Strong through bone
Narrow of vision
And always alone
Without it to make me
A being distinct
T’would be no releasing
Love I could just think
At the flowers and trees
The birds and the sky
-no loving my wife
Without “her” and “I”.
It’s said life’s a cycle
Of growth and decay
Of coming together
Then going away
Without a body to move you
Through both day and night
There’s no way to thank Him
For both wonderful sights
There’s bitterness had in the end
That is true,
But without body to feel it,
No sweet could blush through.

Poem 3
Good vs Evil

All the lines in the universe
Could hardly contain
Evil’s grotesque pageant
Against itself.
Its signifier, nothing remains
Once all the words are tainted.

Good silently transplants a wildflower
On the other side of the road
To save it from the tires of the machine
And the longest lines lose
Against the patient futile success
Of Good’s temporary reprieve.


Poem 4

The last time I felt small

Dwarfed amonst the spools
Whose radii crest above my head
I walk-
a small, thin creature
Able to stride with ease between the
Closely packed spindles.

How much effort
From giant mining machines
Goes into finding four
Kilometres of aluminum
Four kilometres of copper.

I am dwarfed in the midst of fifty spools, stacked in wandering lines
Along the banks of an alpine river.


Poem 5


It is solely the province
Of aging spaniels
To inflict the circumference
Of their comfort
On every surface about.
The carpet is compelled to accomodate
The entirety of his Stretches
And even the motes in the sun
Concede the truth of his sighs.


Poem 6

If I were an animal
The woods would be my world
The open sky my judge
The darkness my shroud
From out of the edge of my universe
The crawlings of huge monsters
Tear at my fabric of trees and brush
Strange shiny crosses
Glinting in the sun
The shining emblem of my defeat
Animals cannot comprehend their killers
Be it a hunters shell
Or the inexorable poison from their world
At odds with mine.


Poem 7

My father took me to the glade
It was August
We sat under the tall pine tree
And shared some wine.

“I need you to help me with this,”
He told me softly.
“Or if you won’t help me, then don’t stop me.”

His words were always mesmerizing,
His cadences made each phrase
Seem like it always had been.

No force in heaven or hell could stop him
He proved that in his unlikely life.
It was only my understanding
and Obedience to him
That left me strength to dig.


Poem 8
The Ending

It didn’t end until midnight on the third
Thin and wasted from the magic beans
He took to end his life
My mother cresting from determined nurse
To panicked child
One moment breaking his will with her own
Daring to undo chemistry with her art
The next breaking down to tatters

“I’ve seen where this is going,
I’ve seen what they’re hiding
In their caverns underground.
I never knew how to fight it
Just how to play it,
And the time for play is over.”

He lay outside that night
And in the morning we buried him under the pine
Wailing and broken in the way of the Old World.


Poem 9
New Beginning

Life wandered on
Work was bleaker than was thought
The same task on the land
Was now dreary, hard and cold
Performed for people
Closed off or never opened
A mystery to me.

I’ve never understood what people are
Not since I left home
Everybody lonely
Repulsed by the earnest
I see them clearly begging on their knees
For something different, something more
Yet woe betide you bring it up
Or reach out a hand.

Amongst these sad failures of fellowship
A reed or two arises
Incongruously ebullient
The Argentinian Gentleman
With the half-Scots name
The quiet laughter of a cousin
Who survived the campaign of mayhem
And at last
The new beginning
In a coffee house in Stinkton
A shining flower with flaming hair
And my mother’s eyes.


Poem 10

What scares me?
The weight of knowledge
of what lies beneath
and the burden of the souls
who tried to help me

The worry over

The terror of many

(And these scare me every day,
A lead wire around my heart,
sometimes clenching,
sometimes lurking)

To make what I know
To give it to the world
How would it help
Who could it harm
Another year goes by
Another sea dies
Not hopeful signs that this
particular dark creation
Would be well received by the world.


Poem 11
I am firmly avowed
of the fact that heaven
Exists in two places at the same time

It is in the bright whole memory
Of an unforgotten past
A bright day in Rome
by a fountain newly springing
A rich morning in June
with a new meeting
A mass under a tree
filled with mystery blossoms

At the same time I am convinced
that heaven is in the Shire
A windswept hill
A secret mountain pool
The courtyard where the White Tree blooms
is heaven enough for me
To know that there is a road
No matter how straight and narrow
To reach the Lands Undying
And time and peace enough
To craft a ship
Inlaid with mallorn and mithril
That could get the tired heroes home.

Poem 12

On Friendship

Friendship is that one gem
Sifted from the mass of insecurity and mistrustful faults
Business and Busyness
That gets in the way of real life.

Friendship is that swell of the heart
When one meets a family member
In another life where the past may be forgotten
But the heart finds its piece of home.

It is the quiet ginger dance
between these hearts
Over circumstance and the mists of forgetfulness
That leads them to declare Family
In spite of all paperwork to the contrary.

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