Jan 152010

 by John Williams 


What is the use of poetry and paint

when the brightest names wash clean by first rain

and walls forget alike those who’ve died and lived beside them?

Each breath is a war story

recalled in letters and photos, another’s memories,

crammed in basement cigar boxes and wept over

when rain leaves us empty and famished

with an aching sense of place, continuity,

and a need to take it all in.

Initials I’ve long ago proclaimed to love

pass timidly, a leaf anonymously lost to Autumn,

and six million times I’ve asked who tomorrow

will proclaim me their heart, my blood theirs,

who with a trembling fixation

will worship such advertisements, like me,

shouting I am here, not was, not was!

without the sense to keep voice in themselves

and blossom into an authorless poem,

butterfly, or something else rain can’t remove