Poems From Enemy Territory -rjmendera 

                                                RÜTTENSCHEIDER STAR                                     rjmendera 

                                                                                                                                  Oct 14-'94     

Thru human crowds and traffic 

The train flew like an alien snake

I was finding my way to the American Shop

And saw how fearfully people stood

Across from each other.

They no longer knew that their way thru Life

Should also be a way towards each other.

They stood like lame horses

In their independent stalls and avoided

Eye-contact with strangers.

And their fear demanded total silence

So that one could hear only brakes

And the grating of iron wheels.Yet,even though

This Darkness pervaded everything

Like an evil magic,I found people to talk to.

An elderly lady gave me directions thru the chaos,

A young man was friendly by transfering

A young girl sought my eyes.

And soon i found myself

by Woolworth’s and McDonald’s,by tacos

And peanut butter,by marshmallows

And Aunt Jemima,like a strange island

In a sunken world reminding me

Of motels and swimming pools.

After stout beer and cheeseburger

I rolled myself a medium cigarette

Sat down like a homeless man on a bench

And enjoyed this small private freedom

The smoking of a silent cigarette in a world

Moving always faster in search of 

An inner peace forever lost.

(i stopped smoking a few years later-rjm)    


                                          GRACE                                                   Feb.16-1998

When you see a true smile it is not anything comparable

to a thousand faked grins

Or a gentle heart when you find its rhythm

is tuned to your own

It flows like an untarnished stream

Your fingers want to be spearmint leaves

Thru which that blood-stream ripples

That smile flowing with caring and gracious

That gold medal smile embracing the losers

Serene and Olympic it beams from a high place

A victim of jealousy,narrowness,hatred

Therefor touched with a trace of sadness

It remains a smile of nobility,not conquest

And you may find it by young and old-

If you do find it,reach up into the light;

For it is the pure source of grace and glory

In human form

And all lesser beings

Seek to attain it.

(for Marianne Timmer-Netherlands-Gold-1,500m Speed Skating-Nagano Winter Olympics 1998)

           The Industrial Land                                                  (In Memorium-Whitman,Merwin,

                                                                                                                                Thoreau )

Gelsenkirchen,vending in me like bacteria

Slides through blocked intestines--

They are liver and gall people

With kidney eyes  Witches ride buses

Seeking their victims in window reflections

With reptile eyes that twitch disguise

But i am covered with sweet grass smoke

I am coated in humility and glory

With apple blossoms and harvest sun

With Okanogan wind and rain

And even in a crowd I sense evil and lies

And those who are victims of dark powers

I see the wicked invisible barriers and the fear

Between strangers taught from childhood

Everywhere the dark urgent push of self-will

“only i”  “first-in-line” at the meat market

The check out counter  the intersection

No time  no time for those who have lost

Their civility have already lost their humanity

Small children with pornographic minds

Old people whose worth has been diminished

To a bitter cry  and those industrious guys

Whose self importance shatters when one day

They are dissected from their work routines

Who must then stand like shabby dogs

At kiosks drinking beer in small groups

To regain courage.The frightened glances

From behind drawn curtains,rolled down shutters

Evil expecting terror from behind,over the shoulder

So that their convoluted,suspicious minds

Can no longer accept a simple,friendly greeting.

Weak souls in weak and wicked times

The smooth,unscathed,immaculately dressed

Business men in BMW’s and Benz’s

Their modern Lord-of-Manor lives

They too hide when i enter

An old and war torn Native pride

Because i know that they are soul-catchers

And spirit destroyers

Who ride on the backs of thousands of workers.

I am not of this place-

I am of apricot trees and open pastures

I am of a lake with a legend

I am of a valley with sandbanks and summer people

I am of wild lilies and buffalo bones

Of haystacks and ponds with leeches

I am of country fairs where Auntie

Wins a ribbon for her prize petunias

And in this dark and ever winter land

Where hopelessness hangs like a foggy carpet

Only an old woman,a young Mother

And several young boys 

Know my name.


                 LUPUS MAGUS

                                                                                                        March 7-’94

Eight wolves wait by a cove of winter

Staring out of a foggy shroud

Watching your lives

With intense small eyes

Their black masks glowing

Ears peaked

Eight wolves wait  one wolf crouches

Two are hidden  four standing

One lies on a crest of old snow.

Lupus columbianus

Above them slides a spirit

Invisible in this dimension

You are building your homes in his spirit range

Harvesting trees

Planting again

Fog hangs over the Fraser river

Pushing against sandbanks

Covering the airport,College Heights

Mud River trickles under a coating of ice

Silver Road has grey snow plowed to the sides

And there is a church without a parish

Over which this spirit strides

Stopping to sniff the railing of an altar

Which,though sanded and polished,

Smells of various human scents.

The fog muffles traffic noises

There is only early light

Where eight wolves wait

Watching your lives

Over the steaming backs of horses in stalls

He glides

And into your still rooms

Where children still sleeping

Cuddle their noses against the hides

Of stuffed animals-

When they jump on his shoulders

Into a landscape of dreams

He carries them carefully to a nearby pasture

Of moonlit snow

To play games of chase and making angels

In their nightgowns flying

And pyjamas trying to stay up.

And occasionally he snarls a warning

When they go near the woods

Being a creature of the forest

And a master of its dangers

Of its human dangers

So he nips them back to their sleepy beds

Hovering awhile also over those older heads

To listen to their fears and regrets,

Their promises and visions

And also into those dreams he rides

To hunt lies out of their deepest darkest corners

To howl at visions and truths worth keeping.

Eight wolves wait by a cove of winter

One spirit flies

Watching your lives.

                                                   (for my brother+his family)

                                STREET SORCERER                                       rjmendera

at His command is an eight orchestra word-band

and video tracks that He sees simultaneously

the BO-FROST truck climbing Cranger street

an old man with a shaggy dog wagging

a church group doing some group thing staging

hammering  clang clumbering garbage truck

but sweetly birds flirting

skirting steel rails  the ten minute tram

and the 398 bus lurching thru automatic gears

             here’s He

             in an open clearing

             sitting on a bench

             beside the mother-earthbound tree

             if He leaves this physical realm

             His body left like an abandoned snail shell

would it be possible to track into the astral range

of human conditions?

to burst into tunnels of true emotions,needs,melancholy-

to find bits of information like a gypsy seer?

why should the mind not have the same power as a satellite receiver?

and if He could discover the chemistry of a father

showing his son football skills

would it be an equation for all fathers and all sons

a crow flies by chortling

---this is a father teaching his son

but you are a lover who has taught loved-ones---

the source of a mighty power He cannot always gather in Him

at age forty-three  a spider crawls across His sleeve

if not the bishop at least the reeve

two crows caw consent

He needs some more Macedonian wine

to ward off those dark powers that surge around Him

hunger,ignorance,despair,intolerance,greed,helplessness and domination

its the great cure for a sadist nation the masochist’s elation

to know that in most victories there is also a little joy

over the opponent’s failure-

seldom only pride in one’s own success

seldom pride(in defeat) only in one’s own effort

two german schoolboys walk home carrying their sachels

like the enormous wool-bundled burden of Tibetan yaks

He flicks an ant off his plastic windbreaker

a jack-hammer - an ambulance bus-

the church group  all angels  outside now

                  in April sun

Pops is perfecting his offspring’s skills

magpies battle for territory 

the double-edged fish hook of a blond girl

        being walked by her dachshund

               fly visits his paper

        a mother invades his spirit space

               He pushes her away gently

go walk your two daughters push play carriages


       this fly again must be the spy

               of an alien force

cold it is still in April

Scandinavian air and too many clouds

a wasp has lost body heat digging into dark soil

a semi-trailer with flowers from Holland

when the sun sprouts out the wasp flies again

He waits for the sunboy with blond pigtail

He spins webs of protection around the Polish cousins

but too late  these are webbings of preservation

      from which two youths break away

      as easily as newts shed skins

too late    He realizes the failure

      of His own incantations

the total conglomerate wind-victorious day 

      blows His sorcery away

and He is left in the early stages of withdrawal

      a man greying at the temples

      pondering on a park bench.

                              DRAGONFLY                         13.08.’93

                                                                                for Dennis

Come here,dragonfly,don’t fear

Let me look at you

Let me near-

You are wonderful;flexible,fragile-

Like a colorful dragon you hang on the wind

Where are you from?

From the castle pond,from the sun,from the woods-

You’re just as alone as i am!

Come here dragonfly,don’t fear

Let me near you.

Today is Friday the thirteenth of August-

You land on my pullover,on my stomach-!

“Look at this,” I say to the Playground Keeper

“A dragonfly’s landed on my stomach!”

“Yah,” he grins,” its looking for a warm place.”

That’s me ,dragonfly! I stay very still for you

I couldn’t hurt you

You are wonderful !!

Your eyes are thousands of tiny mirrors which recognize my gentleness.

You rest by me!!

Gossamer wings shimmer green and blue

You are a wonder-like this life!

You fly   abruptly

Like a recharged toy.

                                                                     by the racetrack,GE-Horst

                         A GUARDIAN BLACK and BLUE

The Prince went with his Grandma,slowly,introverted

The long way into the city.

Everywhere people swarmed like wasps

So that it zischt,cracked and banged.

Nevertheless the two went on quietly 

Not talking much,as always.

The Guardian looked down from above

He glanced at his watch-

Still days and days and lonely days

Until the end of Youth,until the end of Childhood-

Most people could not recognize the Prince

He was still young,and actually wanted to be hunting something

But Grandma needed his company.

Only the Guardian from above saw him

He could recognize his entire fortune

And his skin as white as marble.

And the young Prince’s sandy-blond hair he saw also.

By a kiosk stood a man with a hunting dog

He wore black boots,black trousers and a blue jacket.

He stood there every day,with other men.

As Grandma passed by with the Prince

He nodded his head a little.

The Prince nodded back and Grandma said “Good day”

Only in this way could the man greet the Prince

And only when the Prince was not hunting.

Because the Prince’s kingdom was continually in danger

Continually he had to ride out in its defense-

The Guardian knew this,high up in his tower

He turned around,searching for the Prince’s enemies.