Archive Page 2

04
Jun
09

Big Sur (or, working from my wife’s studio)

This painting by another artist
in my wife’s studio,
the painting she found years ago
at a garage sale
in our old neighborhood where we
lived after we were first married,
I wonder if the artist knows,
if she ever speculates
that I’ve walked the brush strokes
of her foamy shores
and have sat for hours in the cove
she fashioned patiently,
just for me.
And for weeks now I’ve listened
to her waves and never tire
of the salty breeze
off her aqua-blue water.
And all the calls from corporate world
can not detract me from her horizon,
where she has painted
water meeting sky meeting water.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]

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26
Apr
09

R

R

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

We gathered for Christmas,
all of us there,
all of us –
sharing couches and floor
with the grandchildren playing board games,
except me
who remained in the kitchen
putting, as I must, an order to things.
Perhaps,
you are stronger than I.
You seemingly shake
off easily what I can not.
Me
I must stop. Contemplate.
As I do this very night counting –
ten water glasses, ten dinner plates,
the sounds from ten hearts beating
in our home.

23
Apr
09

Room 2423

ICU #2423

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

Here in this room
are pictures of you
and the people who love you –
you with your wife
embraced in perfect sunsets
you with your children
among the countless parks and zoos
birthdays and barbecues
shared with grandchildren who
revere you more than
Packers or Patriots.
Above these, a Cross –
Jesus in white robe,
His arms extended, His palms exposed.
Pray Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
To that misguided homily,
blessed is the womb that bore you
Jesus corrects –
blessed are they who call me family.

14
Dec
08

Rock Star

Rock Star
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

If Jesus were music
he’d be a rock band –
not Bach or Debussy
with their soft violins
their tranquil images
sheep safely grazing
and clair de lune –
he’d be thundering drums
and a chorus of electric guitars
powered by a wall of
Marshall amplifiers.
Because he didn’t mean
for the sound of his words
to pass casually by our ears
like white-noise
like a muted soundtrack
to our daily grind.
He didn’t mean for his
words to affect us
like opium
as Karl Marx thought
medicating us into
quiet complacency.
He wanted his words
too loud to ignore
to awaken a deaf world
telling us
dance
shout
and sing dream on
walk this way
and for his final encore
to storm into the dens
of this world’s thieves
flipping over their money tables.

11
Dec
08

Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

Besides the obvious reasons
my wife wonders about
my keeping poetry anthologies
on the tikki-looking stand
next to the toilet
in our powder room.
You’re so odd
she says to me –
like I’ve gone all evangelical
and left a Bible out
with little pieces of paper
strategically placed
into dog-eared pages
marked by yellow high-lighter.
But even if I did
I wouldn’t steer my captive reader
to the obvious, more popular passages
known even in secular circles
because I know I only
have their attention
for about five minutes –
fifteen maybe, if it’s a man.
You’ve got to entice them
get their interest now
move them beyond the canon
of Frost’s, Dickinson’s and Poe’s
so when they leave
the new words remain
lingering
unfinished thoughts
waiting to be processed
so they will look them up later
on their own
when it is safe
when no one is watching.

01
Dec
08

In Memoriam

In Memoriam
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

I’m so sorry things
did not work out
for you in the end
as you planned
as we all plan
when we are young –
44 is young.
Like so many others
I knew you only
through your accomplishments
which were many,
more than most.
I knew you through
your essays
introspective pieces
of your life revealed
each one a little picture
of the place we lived
when we were young
we could see it
touch it
feel it
we had been there
we had felt
that kind of cold
that sticks the snow
on our knitted mittens
to our skin
until we could get back inside
where it is warm and
the thaw how it hurts
red fingertips and ears
and where I learned
we had a son the same age
we were both from Michigan,
writers.
In the photograph
you are smiling
eyes bright
clearly outside as evident
by the cold on your face
fair and framed by
a few frozen locks
of light brown hair,
pen and paper in-hand,
looking always the writer.
I said I did not know you
I don’t
only through your work
as I read this night
flipping
through old magazines
looking for your essays
and others too on-line
readers, writers
who knew you
only virtually.
But your passing is so sad
and it stayed with me
this snowy evening
and I said a prayer
in the car
and then at dinner
it was the proximity
of our lives
the weight of it all
I thought of your son
as I watched my son
struggle to twirl his spaghetti
onto his fork
which eventually he did
just as I was about
to ask him if he needed help
and then he slurped
what did not make it
onto his utensil
but dangled between
his mouth and his bowl
as young boys do for economy.
Your son will do that too –
your son who’ve you left
a grandmother who is there
and friends
who only loved you
and you’ve left him
with two strong names
which he will need
as he grows
and remembers all
you’ve taught him
and will continue to teach him
now that you’re gone.
And you’ve left him
your life’s work
proximity to you
a map to your spirit
a map forever to find
his way to his life with you.

15
Nov
08

James

James
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

Here in this room are pictures of you
and the people who love you –
you with your family and friends,
you and your rock band,
your team mates,
you and a beautiful girl.
I stand across from your father,
his tired eyes red and swollen,
everything I think to say
sounding so lame as when I said it
to myself in the car for practice.
When your mother sees me
she yells my name
and jumps from her chair
as if she’s been waiting,
all this after I’d been away so long
and I remembered then how openly
we discussed spiritual matters.
And here I am with her again
because of you.
She hugs me, she pulls me close,
her voice sounding the way it always had
when she smiled while talking.
I know he’s okay now,
she says hurriedly into my ear,
I know he’s okay.
She pulls me closer
as if to tell a secret,
all the while repeating herself,
I felt him three times today,
three times I felt him,
three times.




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