Friday, June 27, 2014

If These Walls...--A New Poem

I am standing in history,
where mere mortals
dared to dream;
stood their ground,
when that actually meant something
worth dying for;
images are all around me,
voices speaking their truths to me--
daring me,
pleading me,
not to forget,
not to ignore;
I can’t help
but acknowledge
that I am
they were,
they did,
they bled,
they died.
And I can’t help,
as I leave this room,
to promise them,
in my mind
in my heart,
to the best
of all that is within me,
that I will remember
this time,
their time
is now
my time
to be,
to do,
to live,
if need be,
for something
worth dying for.

© 2014 Joseph Powell

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In A Place, Once Unfamiliar--A New Poem

I have recently placed my stakes
in a place to me,unfamiliar;
underneath cloud formations
so unreal,
yet more real
than anything imaginable;
sharing space
with fireflies
on summer nights
and storms gone
as quickly
as they’ve come;
there’s a past here,
both terrible and awesome,
equalled only by
the feeling of being home,
of being present,
that I now have
in this place,
once unfamiliar.
I hope to be able to
add to the tapestry
already woven
long ago;
add the first
of many new chapters,
of many new verses
in this place of music
and storytelling;
not so much
to find fame and fortune,
but to find purpose
and kinship
with those whose dreams
have led them here as well;
I hope to see love,
kindled before arrival here
from distant shores
where I once set root
and still have ties,
blossom into
a magnificent landscape,
matched only
by the artistry
of God’s making,
I see all around me
in this place, once
I hope that
what the future,
(which is now to me,
also unfamiliar)
is more real
than I could ever imagine;
more awesome
than I know how to handle;
more beautiful
than anything I’ve yet seen
in my dreams;
I hope.

© 2014 Joseph Powell

Monday, June 16, 2014

Room 306--A New Poem

I am listening to Mahalia

singing your favorite song 
as I stare into 
the last room
you would ever inhabit;
tears streaming down
that were too young
that day
the earth seemed
to stand still
and time
seemed to freeze--
probably to those who were there,
to bear witness
as yet another native son
was taken before his time;
someone who,
in the words that would be spoken
soon thereafter,
of yet another,
"who saw wrong and tried to right it,
saw suffering and tried to heal it,
saw war and tried to stop it".

Were it not for hope,
which often wavers
in these still difficult days,
I would despair
that it does no good
to try to do good,
to try to be good
in this world
that would deem you
not fit to live
any longer--
history has shown
continues to show
that this is true;
but I take some comfort,
some solace,
as I stand 
outside a memorial
to your memory,
as one beneficiary
of the good
that you tried to do,
that it was worth it
and your death,
like so many before you,
and so many hence,
was not in vain.
Thank God Almighty.

© 2014 Joseph Powell