Poems From Enemy Territory -rjmendera
RÜTTENSCHEIDER STAR rjmendera
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)
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,
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.
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
Eight wolves wait one wolf crouches
Two are hidden four standing
One lies on a crest of old snow.
Above them slides a spirit
Invisible in this dimension
You are building your homes in his spirit range
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
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
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.
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.