Sentinel Poetry (Online) #53 ISSN 1479-425X
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POETRY & GRAPHICS...since December 2002
Editor-in-Chief: Amatoritsero Ede
Turn enchantment backwards
before tomorrow’s birth,
or old men seated by imagined fires
will steal all visions.
Creaks and grumbles time
has never made objection
to nothing, nohow,
so what are we waiting for.
We are mostly words and crimes,
instants of beauty.
Let us dare to say it.... Beauty.
Moments will sometimes grow pauses
never, never long enough
to weep good tears.
So kick the old men from their places
and let the dark, cold nights of city streets
end each dawn when someone new
is betrayed into the world.
The siren shrieks through city streets,
no one hurries fast enough.
The sound foretells
crime, fire, pain, death,
but no one hurries fast enough.
Overloaded circuits falter,
overburdened people doze.
The yell, the cry, the scream,
pierces the callous dawn,
one plea too many
in this relentless life.
O makers of cities
in your threadbare revelation,
coursing crumbling streets
that cry hunger like wares,
your passage is a bounteous corruption,
a dark voice drearing a tired lament.
You are a specter of old burlesque,
a shirtsleeved letch of clapping lust,
drooling the last song,
lost in a drifting dawn.
You are a morsel of entertainment
wasted by strangers,
a landless wanderer pleading arrivals,
eroding the book of enlightenment,
searching with wonder and anger
the land of visionless youth.
Tribal fires are mostly extinguished
sending men to hulk in safer places.
Grunts and snarls become bewildered faces.
What replaces savagery relinquished?
War dances and auto-da-fes are departed.
The fear of night is hidden with inventions
that illuminate the world restarted,
shaped into acceptable conventions.
Marvel found by a remote and vanished (dare I say)
man, part ape, part hunger, one unflinching part
dreaming of glory, building the courage of day
from the terror of darkness that sets man apart
from other beasts a long as he believes,
smashing forever the limits of what he achieves
in the grandeur of endeavours whose only rival
is the miracle and arrogance of man’s survival.
Winter Night in Germany
There is no gradual decline of day
to prepare the people for evening.
The passing of the sun to grey
brooding skies is swift, without warning.
The shops are lit. Young, restless girls
fill orders and with anxious eyes watch snow
fall slowly on the streets in weary swirls
that soon are spun to ice and cast a dull glow.
The church bells sing loud. It is six thirty.
The lights wink out in offices and shops.
The trip home starts on never dirty
Strassenbahns, or orderly bus stops.
The evening meal is simple food, mostly cold
sausages, cheese, bread and always beer
in huge amounts, for German stomachs hold
more than other stomachs and we always hear
the toasts: Prost, zum wohl.
Then lively stube or keller for more beer,
or the warmth of the cinema at eight,
visiting friends who welcome good cheer,
talk and drinking, but not leaving late.
Home again, quickly to bed,
almost everyone asleep by midnight.
All is still. The darkness men dread
remains until morning births its light.
(C) 2007 Gary Beck