Mike Mennard



The Homesteader sits on the Ground and Considers his Situation


I’d give my mother’s honor for a chair

out here to sit on. Mother, sad but true,

would scarcely miss it, and I’d have my chair.

It needn’t be a throne—a stool will do,

although I’d like a back to it. A chair

feels impotent without a back and who

would want to sit on the unmanly chair

with a limp sense of worth. My mother knew

a bit about that—not about the chair,

or chair’s back, but about self-worth. “In lieu

of love,” she’d say, “choose wealth and a good chair

to sit on.” So I ventured west into

this land for wealth’s sake, but forgot a chair

and find no wealth in land.  My boundless view

could turn a sultan green; but with no chair

to sit on, it’s just dirt. I wouldn’t rue

my rough-rumped lot if I’d pinched Mother’s chair.

She’d cry, “That crook’s his mother through and through.”

And I’d agree, of course. As would the chair


The Homesteader Prays to his God of Longer nights


I beg you, opium,

come, come into my head

and batter like a drum

this dread.


The wood is stacked, the hay

is bailed, the peas are canned.

As nights grow colder, they



and rush to where I am.

Come, come, sweet opium.










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       Mike Mennard

Sentinel Poetry (Online) #51    ISSN 1479-425X


Editor-in-Chief: Amatoritsero Ede

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