Poem of the Month
Ancient Eagle Press
Where Old Fliers Come to Roost
Laying on my bed,
The city spilling through the window,
Sounds from the street, smells from the air.
Smog, sirens, sex, sewage.
In the west, lightning flashes,
Electricity in the air,
Sharp and dangerous.
Next door, the storm brews,
Mama in her room with her joint,
The television shouting.
The old man out too late again.
He been warned. He been warned.
Too many nights on the street,
Too many bars, too many women.
He been warned. And the storm brews.
Thunder rolls, deep and threatening,
The old man coming through the doors,
Hits the mail boxes, falls against the wall.
Elevator broke since ‘94.
Climbs the stairs, tries the door.
Lightning flashes. Mama has a gun.
The old man, locked out, shouts through the door,
Falls against it, curses.
The television throws Chevys at the walls
As the scarred hand crashes through the door.
Blood wells up
On the hand that crashes again,
Splintering the door.
As mama shoots at everything,
And at nothing.
The old man stands at the shattered door,
Mad as hell.
Pushes through the door
Mama hits the wall and the gun flies.
The old man kicking mama,
The television screams.
In my hand, lightning flashes,
Painting the wall.
No more kicking.
No more old man.
And the city
Spilling through the window.
September has passed and October welcomes us with the promise of cooler days and harvest festivals. The orchards are ripe for picking; so begins cider season in the Appalachians. Cider is our Beaujolais nouveau, a harvest treasure to be savored for the season and recalled throughout the year.
We are an optimistic group here at Ancient Eagle Press, and we hope that most of our poems reflect that optimism and love of life. At the same time, we are realists, and know that while the news media overplay everything that is bad, there are indeed circumstances that are heartbreaking and overwhelming in their complexity. One is the cycle of violence that can grow anywhere, but flourishes in high density populations with insufficient jobs, security, education, opportunity and hope. It is sometimes expressed in violence against the community or the police, but more often it is expressed in a personal act and directed at a personal target. In our October Poem of the Month, we look at three people caught in the vortex of domestic violence.
Each month Ancient Eagle Press offers a poem appropriate to the season or the mood of our editorial staff. Poems may be new or drawn from existing AEP editions.