Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Poetry: Jan-Douglas Tuckley

Finding Used Scrap Metal

In past tense my city burns tomorrow,
Intensity this, not easily scorched by
Burning illusions, not yours, mine or searing
As ice to the tongue your child takes for granted.

We have promises to keep they say,
And land mines are other kid's business--
Bound in the intimacy of deceit and newsprint
Whose trees they cannot climb for lack of this limb or that.

Turning spent shell casings in lamps is an art form
Not taught in grade school alongside watercolors,
The table at which He served tax collectors was not
An ammo crate spent on killing any holy spirit of my relations.

I always volunteered to clean the chalkboard erasers
Because chalk smelled better than burning flesh in my hamlet.
It is more blessed to empty pencil sharpeners scornfully
Than to empty gun magazines with great love and devotion.

Jan-Douglas Tuckley

(Published at Poets Against the War.)


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