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Farley - Fincke - Fishman - Follet - Fox

The Darkness Call
by Gary Fincke

Between our upstairs room and those
of our neighbors, across the arm's length
of the walkway, my father strung
a clutch of cans because he worked nights
and he needed to know, in case
of emergency, if my mother had
a darkness call. He counted on
the minister and his wife to be
sober the way he didn't trust
the couple downstairs, and those neighbors
had the only phone on our block,
one way to reach the bakery where
he worked an uphill mile away.
The minister's wife helped my mother
down the stairs. I was ready to
be born, about to open my eyes
on the great flash of the A-bomb
from Socorro, I was about to
hear my father sing the miracle
of his brothers all safely home
and to learn war could be won by brains.
Birth was a cord of rattling cans.
In every picture of the first cloud
over northern New Mexico,
my mother clutches that string and knows
my father will take exactly
six minutes to reach where she pants
in the pastor's car, waits for him
to grow large and white, his apron
twisted sideways like a shredding sail.

From Blood Ties: Working-Class Poems by Gary Fincke. Copyright © 2002 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

A Child of the Millennium
By Charles Adés Fishman

He's five months old now — a little short
on experience — but if he could speak,
Jake would sit with the Dalai Lama on a red
and golden throne and hold forth on happiness
and compassion   on freeing the mind from vengeance
and regret and living in exile from the sacred home:
he's seen the end of days . . . and the beginning.

He doesn't know about race or gender
or that we are murdering the planet   that the earth
is smoldering with underground fires and with the bone-
fires of hatred     He doesn't know about ethnicity
or religion   and will not take with him into the new century
memories of calcined corpses or an interior landscape
peopled with napalmed children.

What Jake is best at has nothing to do with genocide
or the acid tides of history     He travels in realms
where tenderness is a face that brushes his face
He feels the strength of those around him   and their love
and time ticks at his wrist like the gentlest rain     His eyes
are the most translucent lakes, his smiles tiny suns
that shine a clear light on the living..

From Chopin’s Piano by Charles Adés Fishman. Copyright © 2006 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

The Body Wants to Be Useful
by CB Follett

The body, supplying us with levers and pulleys,
wants to be used, kept in good order,
drops of oil dripped into joints. The body,
having no thoughts or emotions of its own,
is highly attuned to the other systems of our being,
and sometimes against its better nature,
but hangs back now, lazy and reluctant.

The body has instincts,
knows it is happier when tuned like a engine.
The body wants to be a Ferrari
but has settled into being an old pickup
that needs a lot of work or it will end up
with grasses growing through the floorboards.

I talk to my body, whine, apologize for betrayals,
and pretending it isn’t there.
It pays me back by becoming the Tin Woodsman.
Sometimes I cannot face the body;
step out of it — move to one side
and pretend it isn’t there. This is unfair, I know
because the body is only trying to please,
it’s getting mixed messages — desire and ennui —
it doesn’t know which master to obey —
it’s own inner, quiet, voice
or the parliament of outside voices of temptation.
It lacks the will power to consider
what’s right for the body, what it needs to be useful.

I bring it oil, and balms of sweet smelling lotions —
I beg it to do what’s right,
not follow the example I’ve set for it —
not listen to the easy chorusing
of the indolent, oh yes, the hedonist.

From Hold and Release by CB Follett. Copyright © 2007 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

So Blind
by Daniel Ray Farley

Windy days and stormy skies, uncertain future ahead it lies.
Changing times as never before, skies of darkness bring nothing more.
Than days of depression in a world of unease, our path for tomorrow
where do you lead?
We're losing direction no more to retrieve, the loss of our morals in the
lies we believe.

Cause we're blind, blind, so - so - so - so - blind.
Blind, blind, I just can't believe we're so blind!

Blinded by the lust of flesh, blinded by our foolishness.
Blinded by this world of dreams, blinded by our greed it seems.
Lord Jesus please hear me now, with the presence of your power.
Show God's love so we can see, out of this darkness that we have fallen.

Rainy daze that clouds the lies, you skies of darkness pass me by!
Troubled times we're headed for, winds of change bring nothing more.
Than days of depression in a world all at war, finding this madness
brings us no more.
Than days of deception now hurling us towards, years full of sadness
that leave nothing more.

Cause we're blind, blind, so - so - so - so - blind.
Blind, blind, I just can't believe we're so blind!

Blinded by the stormy skies, blinded to the endless lies.
Blinded by a force unseen, blinded to this world of screams.
Heavenly Father please hear me now, as we race onto that final hour.
We stand in faith to receive, the gentle sound of your voice calling.

From Once Upon A Rhyme/Year of the Winds by Daniel Ray Farley. Copyright © 2008. Reprinted courtesy of the author.

The poet is in the alley
by James R. Fox

Bob Dylan is indeed the poet in the alley
Strumming his guitar tellin' us his views
Recitin' the news
Enfolding melodies
Like a velvety draped muse

He is the rhymer of reason
A year in four seasons
Who takes the time to explain
Examine the facts, retrace the steps
Amid the deluge
Of loss and of pain

A wayward minstrel
Who wants everyone to hear
Come listen to the message
From a once younger
Now so much older, balladeer

Some carry a lot of trouble
Down the road of dust and rubble
Others wake at the break of noon
Me, I'll just keep on a listenin'
Showin' less expression
But always a whistlin'
One of my favorite Dylan tunes.

Copyright © 2009 James R. Fox




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