The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

Volume-1                                              december-2011                                                    Number-2






                          by Robert Lietz

Never again     -- not     in     this neck     -- on     these

imposing parcels     -- in cloud-streaming light

as kids call one another     from the hydrants     / from

the screened windows of shared bedrooms     -- in

vowels     some     ( it seemed )     could     never     play

apart from     -- Patsy     / Chuckie say --

Joey and Nicky     -- racing     from     the side-doors

down     their     drive-ways     --  along

with     the heroes     matinees     / nap-time re-runs     joined

to half-sleep     / to    neighborhoods

on waking.  We remember     all of that     -- commanded

from short-cut yards     -- scared     by     the sticks

of     bachelors     born     in a dim century     -- exhausted

we knew     -- and     mean enough     to tell us --

private     enough     ( we knew )     they'd     never     learn

the names     the children go by     -- hear

of the lively dreams     the kids retold     or left unspoiled --

bemused     as     snow-cones bloomed     / as bicycles

sat idling     / as cherry blossoms turned the yards around

to festival.  And     the children     -- driven     by dreams

or by kimeras     -- the children re-mind     / continue much --

recalling     how     God     kept still     -- from     disgust

or     from     amusement     -- wary     as we     of tiled walls

and     the pinched skyline     / of the notes     kids stretched --

toward ends of imagination     -- scribbled     in     temples

/ mosques     -- in     madrassas     and     shuls     -- as

shamans and priests     called mothers out     with cameras

to be targets.  If     only     truths     keep fit     / only

the expressive air     kids occupy     / only the inks laid down

in God's name reinspire     -- the rule of heart     / of mind --

if only     our     good God's     warmth     -- misunderstood

as     belliesful     -- as     carved     meats     -- toasts

and     patronage     -- were     more     than     scribbles tell

/ than     snow-powdered     dessert trays     -- there'd

be this warmth     the children     never     could be free of.

Then     what     would these     say to us     -- in every age

confederate     -- done up as forest birds     -- in     colors

/ in     umbrage     and     light     and     wingings     / in

practiced     and     ancient     stuff     we're     to believe

shall mitigate     -- seeding     the earth     with knees --

with fingerbones again     -- and skulls again --

learning      to weep     and multiply?