Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eagles and Buzzards

author’s note:

A poem recently tweaked and now reposted.

Perhaps this poem is just wishful thinking.

But perhaps it’s also way of expressing anger.

And a means of expressing sadness.


Old men keep asking
young men to die, to die
three times:

to die when they kill,
to die when they are wounded,
and then to make the fated mistake:
of allowing themselves to be killed.

In the first two, the soul waits
close by--
hanging from a thread
yet still connected
to the spirit, to the heart--
the soul waits
for the spirit, for the heart
to mourn the pain.

But in the third instance,
the spirit stands outside
with the soul
the spirit may linger
though the spirit knows
the home is now a house
open to the winds
of the plains.

The earth grows poor
with the loss
of such pounding life
and so may press down
to hold the wandering spirit

but in a year or in a hundred
the lost one rises to freedom

and thus abandons
museum ceremonies
that deaden us
with formality.
With flags.

I say,
let old men fight old men,
let them destroy their anger
by eating gray shadows
filled with thorns.

At the first pinprick
I bet the old men
would come down
to their wits
and then sit
for a convivial
game of cards.

Yes, they might still
spudder spittle
but never so much
as to wreck
the ship of friendship.

Until then, I say
to the old eagle women:
allow your eaglets to escape unscathed:
drop them from the nest,
then keep your honed eye
on the machinations of
the old buzzards--
hold your straw brooms
at the ready

--ready to sweep those vultures clean.

Old buzzards, can’t you forgive
your spirit sons
for being so honestly youthful?

Old buzzards, you’ll become old eagles
if you can remember your love--

if you can remember your love
you’ll allow the young
to grow to their age of power.

I believe we’d all actually enjoy
the relaxation of peace--
I’ll write you when I get there.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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Blogger Goldenrod said...

Oh, Michael, this poem is so 'out there', so idealistic, so unrealistic ... wouldn't it be wonderful if it were as you depict? May you stay forever in your nirvanic clouds.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous ramble said...

Great one. As a poet once said, sons [and daughters] of the poor take arms and get killed for their exploiters

5:02 PM  

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