Some wag somewhere said that being a poet is all well and good, but what do you do with the other 23½ hours in the day? Whitman replies that you loaf and invite your soul. (Or you can lead poetry writing workshops, if you can get ‘em.)
going head to head for tuition, to send Mom
to Morocco, get Granny home from The Home.
Twelve or younger, so sweet, so smart,
so much to live for, though the recipes to come
may be mostly for dining alone--divorce, dialysis,
and death for dessert.
But for now, as their mothers watch from offstage,
twisting their hopes into hankies,
these young’un’s are putting the sous
in soup, crepe suzettes, or something called
They’re given all the ingredients for success,
so don’t burn those haricots verts
or forget the sprinkles, young lady, since,
in fact and the future, it may be only the sprinkles--
the cheese, the sugar, the cinnamon--that are left
to live for, like an afternoon tea with scones,
a good cup of coffee, a chili dog
or two to swell that tummy,
and if you’re lucky, those love handles.
And maybe what you’ll really make
might be the tastier dish of a different life,
with the dream of stardom
on the back burner, and smoking
by now, on its way to the ashes
you will rise from.
Love’s not Time’s fool . . . .
Time let me hail and climb,
Golden in the heydays of his eyes . . . .
Time flies when you’re having fun
and when you’re not.
It used to sport that capital T
in the old poems scribbled with feathers
by bald, bearded men in ruffled collars
like the dogs of clowns,
as if it were human, even
a king or Father, person-
ification, if I recall (the hailing
back of what was
with a whistle too high to hear),
or the One True Cross,
or the gallows we all eventually
Aeon, that old, gray Greek,
has turned ferns, fens, and bogs
into smoky peat,
then lowly coal, and then
that hard symbol of eternal love,
the diamond, and maybe, after that,
we pray, something even more
precious. What, we don’t know.
but Time won’t tell.
© 2017 William Greenway
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