the band comes closer
until the clapping ladies
in their gaudy flowered dresses
and the beer-bellied men
can feel the drum
striking in their throats
a beat that is now hardly felt
by the silent wraiths
making their own unseen procession
on the village green
the farmer is there,
who harnessed his ox
and milked each cow
with his own hands
on clean gray mornings
the hymn writer
playing the pump organ
at the meeting house
the buckskinned savage
who opened the secrets
of the new land
to new minds
and set his home
in any valley
who knew each work in his shop
and shaped it with his sure hands
the mother who made soap and butter
and raised her children
and read them the bible by the fire
who shook the walls
and spoke thunder,
who was listened to
other shadows are also here.
a buffalo shakes his horns,
the flesh on his strong shoulders twitching,
watching calm-faced –
the mustang, mane flying,
writing its history in the dirt with its stamping hoof –
the eagle, who was taken from his home
and fastened by his back
to flags and emblems, and died there, starving
these spirits are now
shadows behind the shadows
on the village green
listening to the big brass bands
and the silence in the crowd’s memories
caused by the unawareness
in the rest of their minds.
they were once living words
They weren’t invited
to this century.
to watch the parade
from their view;
the view of
Maude Larke has come back to her own writing after years of ‘real’ work in the American, English and French university systems, analyzing others’ texts and films. She has also returned to the classical music world as an ardent amateur, after fifteen years of piano and voice in her youth. She has several short stories and poems, three novels, and two screenplays to offer so far. Publications include Cyclamens and Swords, Sketchbook and The Centrifugal Eye.
Life is short, and Art long;
The crisis fleeting;
Experience perilous and
Lucius spoke to Marsyas: “The Red Galley was at Full Stroke, four lengths off the dock.”
Marsyas nodded. He turned to the Supplicant. “How did they know about the challenge?” and he waited, like a cat crouched at the mouth of a gopher’s tunnel.
The Supplicant stared in front of him, trembling. My bench mates moaned and cried for help.
“Stand up,” said Marsyas.
Involuntarily, the Supplicant rose and said: “You can’t touch…”
In elegant robes, my mother floats
Through the gardens thick and fragrant;
Strong lines of care carve my father’s face
As he scratches for our fortune.
Once, during a rest, as we ate some bland slop and tossed a skin of water back and forth, I noticed our Drummer eying me. I was feeling briefly light-hearted as I watched the swift movement of the water skin above the heads of the crew. It was our game: the unwary would catch the goat skin in the side of the head. The old man stared at me across his meal of soft bread and small fish. He had apparently noticed my feet tap a song that had been running through my head, a song of childhood. He smiled.
The drum gives me Now; and its silence Then.
Keep the beat and my soul will mend.
My father was a smith. We lived in tiny Dodona in a house behind the forge. We lived with the beat of hammer and anvil, and the longer pulse of heating and cooling. Poor, we embraced the rhythms of starving awhile until we were no longer as hungry, of collapsing exhausted until we were merely tired. My mother foraged meals from thin air and I worked at the fire from a tender age.
Father made a living selling pins, hasps and latches for a few lepta each. He taught me how to repair broken tools. Craning past his massive arm, I watched him steadily beat the ripple pattern of circles on a copper sheet until it became a shapely pot, worthy of Hephaestus, whose hammer icon hung in the forge.
His master was a Guild smith, who died before father could be Journeyed. Father’s craft sprang from glimpses of techniques he was never taught, leveraged into what he needed to know.
Curated by Robert L. Pepper (PAS) and Valerie Kuhne (Prehistoric Horse)
Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway, New York, NY
J Train to Kosciusko St
(Full Line up.)
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