there is a blight upon the earth, it bears a name,
it draws in air much better used by worthy men,
my namesake drains the sea, the manner is the same,
the food it wastes through use could feed a better ten,
earth's scarce resources it consumes, returns nothing,
though years have passed, remains a liability,
an asset to the world its hands have yet to bring,
a change in its demise no one can sure foresee,
as inert gas unnoticed seeping into cracks,
it poisons happy minds and smiling thoughts it kills,
then hisses into skies, so soiling white doves black,
when noticed men strike matches to it for the thrills,
there is a place for one who's nil before the world,
to lie beneath the feet of all, a rug unfurled
(C)2012, Christos Rigakos
Cross the surf, broken white
In tiny splash, sprinkling bow and pulpit
The small prow, driving forward to the main
Catches the quick wind.
The Amitie sits anchored twice,
Its hull by sand, shoved round its keel,
The high tide line stretched
Slack across barren beach to hooked cast iron.
The fisherman mourns today, life is gone
From Amitie, small daughter lost.
The paint of her namesake fades
While gunnels dry in early summers sun.
Tomorrow she will be out again
Loosed with tide, beyond the surf
Families still need fed, fish need caught
The money to trade for the living.
With Body pretzled up, skins converged to form
branches of rivers, mouth slack and frozen to
a permanent scowl of delirium and manners-gone,
as many swears dripped from those dry, cracked lips.
One of my mothers – gumshoed from the alley’s way of family.
“Get gumption, girlie, because everybody is full of shit!”
I remember that lullaby, “A tiny turned-up nose, two lips just like a rose. She sits upon my knee, she means to the world to me.”
I spy the scar on my pinky finger from her cigarette.
Could the King be witness in the Room?
Were those buttons of hollow wood over her eyelids?
Wrung of cries – we didn’t see that coming,
though we heard the flies.
And Age’s stumbling rattle through the hallway.
Do you know who I am?
Do you remember me?
Should the window washer come another day?
This stubborn sovereignty over what is reality – the root beneath the porch, the fog on the windshield.
Loosen the grip on this natural plane,
Woman of my Childhood, harvester of my manners.
Stand until the grown-ups sit.
Look away and bow your neck.
This was called the boxing match between Industry verses Inferiority.
Not child through birth – no –
but life spawned by those
There’s finality in this phone-call.
I heard it happened an hour ago.
Treading grievances and grimaces, picking through a flowerbed only to stroke the weeds.
Lifting boxes of Lead from reality to the Bridge of Dreams.
Frankly, I stole the gumption from your knotted mouth and
still cannot cry.
In a splinter of reason – I cast out the fundamental jibes of sacred hope.
That promise held between dog and owner during business hours.
Except there can be no homecoming.
The sickest liquor on the alleyway fence.