Friday, September 30, 2011

Melancholera--A New Poem

There are feelings
for which,
words cannot express--
an overwhelming plethora
of sensations
so indescribable,
the mind reels
as to what to call it;
a mixture of heaviness
and sickness
so profound,
it's a wonder
anyone can endure,
that anyone can bear
the brunt of it;

the eyes go blind,
from the seeing of things
that no one else can see
and would be hard pressed
to understand;

the heart aches,
nearly to the point
of explosion,
so full it is
of a remarkable sadness
that almost
can't be contained;

the limbs are fraught
with palsy,
in their inability
to operate
with any reasonable
semblance of dexterity
or fluidity.

Oh, I imagine
that many
have been afflicted
by this amalgamation
of physical anguish
and mental
and emotional torment,
crying out to the heavens
for solace and mercy
and lucky to receive any;
searching near and far
for any modicum of respite
or relief;
at the very least,
to be sated by
the knowledge of
what this seemingly foreign
ailment is,
and why,
and how,
it lingers so.

on the other hand,
who has knowingly
been afflicted
and find myself
even still,
in my ever-present
I have conjured up
a word
that seems
appropos for this
nagging and
oh-so-insatiable ailment--
I choose to call it,
and those
who have ever taken
a breath,
are susceptible to it
and far from immune
to its effects.

The best
that you can hope for,
my friends,
is to strive
and endure,
for as surely
as you are living,
you will never be
beyond its reach,
or free
from its snares.

© 2011 Joseph Powell

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Tree Falls (for Troy Davis)

Last night,
a tree fell in the forest--
the sound it made,
is the cry of innocence
with the collective cry
of those screaming,"no!";
of those pleading,"have mercy!";
of a family crying, "please!"

When a tree falls,
without warranted effort,
I believe even God hears
the sound it makes
and I think
it pisses him off--
the unnecessity of
an early uprooting.

When a tree falls,
it cannot be replaced,
no matter how many seeds
are planted;
no matter,
how much time is allowed
to elapse;
no amount of sun
or rainfall,
or careful nurturing
will bring this tree
back to fruition,
to bloom and prosper
where it was planted
to provide shade and comfort
for those nearby.

One can only weep
at the loss
and pray for the day
when innocence is acknowledged,
when mercy is given more freely,
and every tree is given
a chance to stand tall
and live.

© 2011 Joseph Powell

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hard Tears Are Gonna Fall

She cried hard tears--
tears that seemed to say,
love hurts more
than the lack of love
and asking why,
the hardest question
of all,
and the one least answered;
and I remembered,
remembered those same tears
streaming down my face,
the asking why;
and like her,
not receiving a satisfactory answer;
but the lack of said answer
is what drives me forward,
to try,
and try again,
because love does hurt
but the hurt,
like all pain,
lets me know
that I'm alive
and I can still feel
and I can still fight
through another day;
fight through
all the whys
that may
and will continue
to come,
and hope that
and others like her,
will know
that hard tears
are gonna fall
and whys
will continue
to be asked,
and through it all,
the most important thing,
you're alive,

© 2011 Joseph Powell

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9-11 Redux

As we approach the 10th anniversary of that fateful day, here is a resharing of my remembrance...

9-11 Redux

Echoes of F.D.R.
Ring in my head—
“A day which will live
in infamy”;
Like the phone
Which awoke
Me from sleep.
While somewhere,
Scores were dying.
And now I find it harder
To sleep
‘cause now I hear blood
crying from the ground.

People will ask,
‘Do you remember where
you were when?’
And I will say,
‘Yeah, in a state of shock,’
which turned into
a New York
state of mind,
wishing I could stop
the madness
that crashed into
the twin brothers
in this first year
of the new century
on the 11th day
of the 9th month—
a day whose numbers
are linked
with the number
for emergency;
a day when chaos ruled
and the news became
a liturgical obituary;

when my bloodshot eyes
were red, not from lack of sleep,
but from the carnage
that filled my TV screen;
when the local news
battled the world news
for body counts.

They say in space,
‘No one can hear you scream’,
But on this day,
I think I heard
The whole universe
A sound matched only
By the falling of teardrops
In a forest of humanity.

© Joseph Powell