Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Upside of Down

author’s note:

I tried to find a replacement for the line “all the way to the bottom of hell”, thinking it sounded too common.

It is too common.


I started to write
a poem
about morning coffee
while leaning my elbows
on the table
and gazing over
the orange hills of dawn.

Then I remembered the story
from yesterday:
about the interrogator
who broke men’s spines.
No.  He actually snapped
the spinal column
then set the prisoner down
on his head to hear him scream--

all the way to the bottom of hell.

So I did not write the morning poem.

My plan had been to tinge the lines
with melancholia--
the melancholia that can sometimes
drift down
at the beginning of a sun-filled day.

My idea was to convey the irony
of feeling wistful
in a world of plenty.

But today I will not ignore my shock...

all around me I see people
set down on their heads...

But I can not ignore my hope:
I tell myself
we’re all learning to balance
to gain a greater perspective.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton

earnest audio
new steps

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