Poem On Your Blog Day

Poem on your blog day, April 30

With a tip o’ the hat to Ronn for the idea.

As an English major in college, I loved poetry. In fact I wrote quite a lot of poetry when I was in college. Some of was good. Some not so good. But what was good, was good enough to get published in the university’s undergrad literary magazine and in one national journal.

It’s been years since I read or wrote any poetry. But in honor of Poem on Your Blog Day (a take of of Poem in Your Pocket Day) I thought I’d post a few favorites of mine from various sources.

We Two Boys Together Clinging
By Walt Whitman

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going. North and South
excursions making.
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering
thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priets alarming, air breathing, water
drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statues mocking,
feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.

Commitments
by Essex Hemphill

I will always be there.
When the silence is exhumed.
When the photographs are examined
I will be pictures smiling
among siblings, parents,
nieces and nephews.

In the background of the photographs
the hazy smoke of barbecue,
a checkered red-and-white tablecloth
laden with blackened chicken,
glistenig ribs, paper plates,
bottles of beer, and pop.

In the photos
the smallest of children
are held by their parents.
My arms are empty, or around
the shoulders of unsuspecting aunts
expecting to throw rice at me someday.

Or picture tinsel, candles,
ornamented, imitation trees,
or another table, this one
set for Thanksgiving,
a turkey steaming the lens.
My arms are empty
in those photos, too,
so empty they would break
around a love.

I am always there
for critical emergencies,
graduations,
the middle of the night.

I am the invisible son.
In the family photos
nothing appears out of character.
I smile as I serve my duty.

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5 Responses to Poem On Your Blog Day

  1. Jeff says:

    “We Two Boys…” is one of my absolute favorite poems.

  2. “Commitments” struck quite a chord. Thank you.

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