Saturday, September 20, 2014

J.K. Durick- Three Poems

                        School Shooters
They were there, even in my day, wandering the halls
Like the rest of us, shadowy figures, familiar to us all;
We’d see them out of the corner of our eye, go by,
Through the glass panel in our classroom door we’d
See them looking in, watching us, picking out targets;
They were sufficiently armed, carefully groomed to
Cover their intentions, weapons cleverly concealed
Almost unnoticeable, except we knew they were
There; the day of judgment was coming, the day of
Reckoning was at hand; we didn’t have a plan, no
Evacuation to set in motion, no lock-down, no way
To notify parents or the press, we didn’t have a prayer;
They were there among us the whole time, ready to
Settle scores, even the playing field, set things right,
They were avenging angels, revolutionaries ready to
Move, ready to light the fuse to a whole new way
Of living, a way of living we have come to know well,
Our past catches up with our children and grandchildren,
Shadowy figures step forward, aim, and now fire.

           After the Lifeboat Drill
After the lifeboat drill, our names tucked in,
Electronically stowed, safe from the eventual
Real and imagined dangers, we take our first
Cautious turns around the promenade deck
Starboard and then port, measure our walk
As if we could get away from this distance
We take with us. We jog, we walk, push
Strollers and wheelchairs, follow service dogs,
Pair off to pace, to chat, to look at horizons.
Signs tell us to mind our head and to watch,
At the same time, our step, as if these bits of
Confucius-like wisdom could help guide us,
Protect us from our child-like approach to
Entering or exiting or just getting us along.
After the lifeboat drill, the ocean changes
Its face, becomes a bit darker, a presence
We need to adjust to; its influence, the way
It can sway, play with our steps, our balance
Reminds us of its strength, of why we need
These lifeboats drills before we set out.

     Writer’s Block
The day twitches, itches
Middle of its back
Twists, turns, writhes
Almost reaches
The clock sluggishly
Solemnly speaks
Mentions misgivings
Times misspent
Phone and doorbell
Look on quietly
Expect nothing
Minds wandering
Radio forgets its place
The words floating
Floating through space
Repeating, repeating
The breeze blows
The curtains apart
Almost a tune
Almost a sigh
Outside a bird sings
Dog barks, bird barks
Scratches at the door
Flutters away
The cursor impatiently
Winks, flashes, warns
Warms to the task
And then, and then, and
In this circle of hell
We wend our way
Wondering what went
And where it might
Have gone

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