Poem: Joy for the Timid?

My poem No Joy for the Timid

Literary Yard

By: Steve Deutsch

kyle-johnson-417625-unsplash

I have never
been one
to dive in.
At Brighton Beach
I’d shuffle
seaward,
slow as silt,
while other children
screeched
into the ocean
at a gallop,
more race horse
than human—
faces shocked
from whoa to joy

Can joy
come slowly?

Does delight
ever descend,
thick as honey,
on the timid
among us?
Those
keepers
of butterflies
who greet
opportunity
with a stammer
and a shrug.

Does it
sneak up
on those
of us
who research
the obvious,
elbows deep
in sacred
texts
while just
outside
the shadow
of the library
lions
the sun
is bright
and people
cross
the avenue
without
looking
both ways?

I wrestle
with
the puzzle—
pleasure
or peril,
while
you
walk
with great
determination,
away.

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My poem Stardust in Literary Yard today.

via Poem: Stardust

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Stevieslaw: My poem, Poet, just published on Eclectica

Here is the link to the poetry section:

http://www.eclectica.org/v22n2/poetry_list.html

 

And here is the poem:

Poet

I found your first book today
in a second hand store at the Harrisburg Station.
Dingy and age-tanned,
it retained its dustcover,
with a photo of you at 22,
wearing a threadbare corduroy coat
I’m sure is still in your closet,
and what might pass for a smile.
It’s a rare first print from ’69.

My war.
Your deferment.
You kept to your poetry
like you kept to the old neighborhood,
both mired in bottomless poverty—
an endless scraping by.
Yet, just last year, The Times called you
the Bashful Bard of Brooklyn.

We will lay you out tomorrow
in a sandy plot
in one of those many cemeteries
that dot the flat, emptiness of the mid-island plains.
Bury you next to Mary
your common-law wife of fifty three years
and your only treasure.

Old friend,
I never told you what I felt
when I first held a copy of your book.
I was outside my tent,
less than a mile from the wreckage of Ben Tre.
The package had been waiting for me
while we took that city down.
Not even the rats and the roaches
could have survived our fury.
“That should be me,” I thought,
and tossed that splendid book
on the residue of the war.

 

 

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Stevieslaw: My Poem “What I Had Forgotten”

My poem, What I Had Forgotten,” was up on The Drabble today. Here is the poem:

Spring came on reluctantly this year—
like the probing of a diffident lover,
uncertain of welcome.
It gave me time to remember
how much the heat of the new sun
felt like a caress
and how the breeze from the south
made me feel like shedding layers—
clothing and skin,
and running wild-hearted
through the first green.

And here is the link:

http://thedrabble.wordpress.com/

 

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kind and gentle.

wonderful anne frank quote

I didn't have my glasses on....

kinders are home again at the castle

after a long day spent challenging dragons.

“in the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”

-anne frank

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Stevieslaw: Trump unveils new approach to Border Control

Stevieslaw: Trump unveils new approach to Mexican Border control

President Trump tweeted this morning that he had come to an historic accord with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In exchange for a halt in all U.S. sanctions, the Russian military will assume control of the Mexican-U.S. border.

“No more namby-pamby ICE agents,” tweeted an elated President. “These guys would just as soon shoot you as look at you—and, the troops chosen will speak neither English or Spanish.”

“Try talking your way in now, El Bandito,” Trump tweeted with a smiley face.

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Stevieslaw: My poem “Breakdown” just appeared in Nixes Mate Review

New in Issue 7 of Nixes Mate http://nixesmate.pub/issue-7-spring-2018/Review

 

Breakdown

On that endless day in February –
when I found out
you wouldn’t be coming home,
I hitched a ride to Lewistown
in a car so beat up
it might have been lifted
from a junkyard on Route 220.
The delinquents that drove it
were thoroughly stoned
and moved in fractal time –
abruptly, like mechanical dolls
wound for infinity.
We took the grade
down Seven Mountains sideways
laughing at fuck knows what.

They tossed me out
at the train station
just over the river –
a place so desolate and cold
the vegetation that grew there
could not be found
anywhere else on earth
I sat on the icy asphalt
and cradled my backpack,
as if the contents –
some ludes and librium,
two nickel bags,
rolled sweat socks,
and a stuffed dog named Lucky,
could save me from the setting of the sun.

The train rolled through the heartland
of tarpaper shacks
and graveyards
lit by a macabre moon
made orange by train windows
crazed by the cold.
Outside, packs of hounds
hunted and howled,
prey and people fled
and at the service plazas –
little Meccas of civilization
in the wind blown wild –
the wretched of the earth
sobbed in the artificial light.

In Harrisburg,
a G.I., in full battle gear,
sat down beside me,
stinking of blood and jungle,
his right leg lopped off
just above the knee,
the bone whiter than fresh snow.
A chest wound
the size of Ali’s fist
bled on the seat.
What was left of his name tag
read PFC Deuts.
He smoked weed and told stories
of little towns in the Mekong
he had blown away,
in a voice as green and sweet
as honeyed tea.
In Philly, he shot out a window
and left the train
through the gaping wound.

My brother met me at Penn Station.
Sturdy and sure,
he was dressed as a Hassid –
payot graying around his ears.
He knelt on the grimy station floor
and davened
to the beat of a hit song
as ugly as 1968.
With prayers as mechanical
as the patter of
a ventriloquist’s dummy,
he sold peyote
and cheap copies of the New Testament
to travelers
desperate to get high.

 

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