Thursday, April 24, 2008

Three Poems on Judgment....

Three Poems on Judgment

God Has Turned His Back

Mouthing a collection of our vanities;
cribbing off lists from Solomon,

the Preacher on Mom's way-too-loud TV
said that God has turned His back on us.

In days when no one looks much past the bumper,
no side-glances or smiling nods; no eye contact

either for kindred spirit or dispirited bum.
The Town Square, all beautiful trees,

statue and fountain, with the empty Santa's House
surrounded by empty churches;

the cardboard signs at the on-ramp; all of it
might as well not be there.

And while Main Street’s dying, I'm sitting at the stoplight,
looking at the probably pretty girls

turning left across the bow of my old boat.
The sets of three-second frames

total a 30-second movie that could entertain,
but for the hands to ears that spoil the view.

No town square and trees, statue and fountain.
No empty prayers for either Christmas bling or Father Christmas.

Just instant message, voice-mail, call waiting.
And the collection rolls its way up the on-ramp,

past the cardboard "Out to lunch" sign propped against the curb,
facing away from Main Street below.

Green Town, Illinois:

Judgment runs fast
Flying through the dandelions
Catching up

Fate lies in... now - not waiting
Years pass that tow-head boy
And scythes kiss the fields of Illinois

(And they don’t make Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Tennis Shoes
Not anymore... not even in China)

Midnight Snack

Judgment doesn’t waste time
Writing overwrought obituaries
Or talking sweet memories
Judgment doesn't do morality plays -
At least not from our script
Judgment reads Revelation Chapter Six
Aloud before bedtime
Its midnight snack is the local Rumor Mill.
A quart of wheat and three quarts of barley
The bread of its Dagwood
Our juiciest sins the meat
Our excuses the condiments
The overweight evidence
Of collective, hereditary guilt
Is Judgment's cold milk
The bones stripped bare -
Lying there on the plate
Still accountable

dc - 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wings of the Harleys....

Wings of the Harleys -- John Gorka

Bottles back the bar
Lined up like choirboys
Singing to hide the scars they pour
The Woman there is wise
With a roughened whiskey voice
She’s the one that points you out the door
It’s pinball in the dark
’cause it’s a quarter for the lights
The Woman’s tips are nickels and dimes
Leather when it’s cool
Denim when it’s right
Like tattoos, some things don’t change with time

It’s the power of the bottle
Oh, the currents flow in here
Where the Wings of the Harleys
All land for shots and beer
And all they ever want
Is to drink their fill alone
Make a little noise
As they head off for home

Some are big and mean
Some are in between
Some don’t care ‘bout nothin’ at all
Nothing but their bikes
And the neon lights
Some will clock you if they hear the call
But it’s not just the drinks
That bring the bikers in

It’s those four walls of freedom they can ring
The Woman there is nice
There’s no chains upon her wings
The only chains they need they bring along


Bottles back the bar
Lined up like choirboys