Sunday, February 5, 2017

Three Poems by Carmine Giordano

Bits and Pieces

Poems have to be short, simple.
You can't windbag the truth
or loudmouth the heart.
Their light and longings
have to be parceled easily,
taken in piecemeal,
mulled, ingested slowly.

Small things say a lot.
The wind picking up in the trees.
The leaves falling, crisp, vermillion.
The white hair at the edge of your brow.
The tremor in your hand.
The way you keep looking at me.

Morning dawns the edge of the sea
in bits and pieces.

*               *                *

Danse Macabre

Take it easy, Quintus Antoninus.
While you worry about this and that,
the bone man is laughing hysterical.
Don’t you see him smiling there, 
in the grimace of your teeth?
Your fault, your flaw,
the angst you have of mine,
the sorry shape of things--
they’re fluff against the universe.
We hardly exist at all
in the endless tick of time.
Breathe, my friend, relax.
Know your place in the scheme,
the minuscule importance.
And while he’s resting his scythe, try--
give the old clinker a dance!

*                *                *

Kingdom Come

Where's Jesus, Antonio,
now that we really need him?
While we've been looking at the sky,
our eyes blinded by the sun
waiting for his returning,
here on fog-bound terra firma
has come a two-bit blonded player
stealing his biblical thunder
shouting to the analphabetic,
for whom his fiction is fact, 
that he will greatly multiply
their meager loaves and fishes,
that he will shake the heavens,
the seas and the dry land,
that he will undo the national firmament,
upend the pillars of the earth.

Who could have imagined 
this vain thing, Antonio?
And how may we abide 
this day of his coming?

Let couriers mount their steeds
and race through the land.
Let heralds blow their trumpets
in high and low places.
The sound must go out.
Affront him on the right,
Oppose him on the left.
Let the able fight where they can.
He is the false prophet,
mountebank, quack, fraud,
shark, swindler,
truth's charlatan, time's danger.
Reveal, reveal this -

till kingdom come!

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