Wednesday, June 17, 2009

These are two unrelated poems written a couple of years ago. They are very different in many ways.

Cordell Blue
had another hue
yet no one knew
Cordell Blue’s
other hue.
How could you
suspect the hue
of Cordell Blue
could not be true,
or the being
of the other hue
if no one knew,
not even you,
about Cordell Blue’s
other hue?

-- Bonita, California
-- August 21, 2007

Thoughts about the discovery of the well-preserved and very old remains of an Incan boy and young woman high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, circa 1995.

the magazine photos riveted attention, fascination:
children, forced to grow up and die
before their time in our time
yet probably not a great deal more
than their time in their time.
did they volunteer to the sacrifice?
now they are a source of interest in ages past,
and macabre beliefs:
i only feel sadness.

dead, empty hulks.
eyeless sockets staring out
into a world gone techno,
not a great deal more advanced from
what they saw when they could see:
world still full of ignorance, hatred and religious zealots
out to rid the world of all other gods.
the hulks,
not just dead, but dead and gone, yet not gone,
still here, rediscovered,
creating fascination, ghoulish interest in such relics.

hulk: dead warship lady
i wandered through during my navy days
lady warship "mothballed" with foam
until cleaned up for her sacrifice,
i, sailor man, entered the hulk,
semi-official equipment scavenger
for my man-of-war, pronounced female,
herself already obsolescent:
aboard: quiet and eerie,
a presence here beyond me felt:
an old unfinished letter,
desk drawer of a small stateroom forward,
"Dear Clara," was the only identification;
nothing much more than the opening hello;
no great heroics here,
just a khaki clad lieutenant
meeting obligations to clara.

down below in the steel machine guts of the lady,
the clang against the emptiness of fireroom ladders,
once filled with hiss and heat and screams over the blowers
stirring the moist heat to just above tolerable.
it was more incan.
i could see the sailors shirtless sweating,
changing spray nozzles as the orders from above
required they rev up the steaming to where
the sides of the boilers heaved.

just as gone as the incans.
eye sockets empty,
bodily fluids extracted or dried up long ago.
but no petrification here.
no, she will be hauled to sea
to feel the heat of missiles,
practicing the art of war,
slamming into her innards
as her body is twisted, rent asunder,
gaping holes filling with the briny sea
as she slides, stem down
into deep bliss.
sacrificed like the incans,
dead and gone,
but no longer seen
like the incans.
at least the old war lady
will have some peace and quiet.

-- Bonita, California
-- Autumn 1996

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