Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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Thanks at a remove

Dear poet sir,
where to begin,
your words press tightly
side by side,
to pull me through
the shiny skin of thought,
a mirrored surface of
another’s world.
Words of early years
and soldiers gone to fight
a hellish, fruitless war.
Survival and regrowth,
sharp perceptions of
time’s road.
A place so different
from your youth
yet you can laugh, then
fete with knife edged pen
and dazzling words
the mix and contradictions
of accumulated life, that leave
my inward turning eye
and mind replete
at least for now.
Until another clutch
of welded thought
brings me full awake
and ravenous
for more

NaPoWriMo day 3, in which the prompt was to write a poem as fan letter to a celebrity, unrestricted as to time and gender. Disliking the idea of kowtowing to mere celebrity (as opposed to creative talent), I chose to write to a (celebrated) poet whose work I admire.

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as I begin with gratitude
for another morning,
today my thanks include
the gift from countless
soldiers, first responders,
citizen patriots all
who came when called for service
volunteers or not,
willingly or not,
just cause or not.

they put themselves
between their country
and a bullet
aimed at its heart,
a human shield
to turn back
fire and dread upon itself
lest their wrath
engulf us all.

the possibility of choice,
of disagreement with
the forward march of war,
lives on for us
because of their belief
that stepping forward
was an act of honor.

that they
no longer breathe,
or rejoice in
our country’s rare
unfettered freedoms
while I and
countless others do,
fills me with
abiding gratitude.