Poems by Agona Apell

Do you love short poems? Well, I do! That’s why I have a full page dedicated to these special delights. Click and pick from my serving of love poems, war poems–and a host of poems on other subjects. All poems are mine, original, and copyrighted. Do you love them? Please share. Connect with me on twitter @agona33

 

Rainbows in Vegas

Like a drop of the rainbow

A mother arches herself over her stricken child,

A man arches himself over his prostrate wife,

And a stranger arches himself over another.

 

Rainbows in a hailstorm, they all are,

Bringing out their best colors

To hold back the hail of bullets

That but for them would rip another:

The killer sought to see red

Yet from heroes and heroines alike

Came the rainbow through his gun sight.

 

Wheezing past the bullets

Were ambulances and wheelbarrows,

Taxis and foot angels–

All in search of succor for the wounded, the dying…

Nowhere, though, did I see the gun laws:

While the rainbow flew at half mast,

They remained asleep and aloof.

 

Perfect in Defect

To fly strong with broken wings,

To wax eloquent with but a pinch of words,

To race into hearts and history with one leg less—

These make the truest tales of perfection,

The highest perfection under Heaven:

To be perfect in defect.

 

Be not tarried by the sight, sound, or feel of a flaw:

No! Truest perfection never lay in the absence of

defects

But in their impotence

When we will them down from hurdle to puddle

As we hop and drop till goal we reach.

 

Born with a tombstone

We walk about the earth tethered to our tombstones;

Not once do we ever break loose.

Like a fish hooked on a slack line

We do for a while roam quite free,

Oblivious to the grip of the noose.

But sooner or later the final hour cometh

When death’s black hand reaches forth

And reels us in while we shriek and squirm,

Afraid to board the lidded boat

That all our days stood moored at the grey tombstone.

 

Soon it’ll sink to its final destination

And lie still beneath the waves of time,

A boat full of treasure over a lifetime gained:

The great thoughts, the rich values, the glowing dreams…

A thousand years hence the question will be asked:

To where sailed this boat when this headstone it struck

And sunk into the earth laden with treasure?

 

Leave not that question to posterity

Nor its answer to tongue-tied epitaphs,

But each day ask to where sails your boat with the

treasure you are

And loudly answer now before you’re a force to fossil

turned.

It’s paving- not tomb-stones that shall capture my story,

The tale of my sail on life’s rough seas

From its beginnings at home

To its end in a storm

That’ll wreck my boat on my tombstone

That somewhere lurks like an iceberg menace.

 

Black Lives

When a man stepped out his childhood home,

Planting a brave foot in the open world

Not an age, not a generation, not a world ago,

There breathed and burned in him hope

Shared with mama’s receding figure,

Frozen in prayer by the doorpost to his back,

That his way he would make through the mild wild

That law and claw both make the world

With flesh unmarred by scratch or patch.

 

“You’ll keep out of trouble if you behave yourself,”

she would advise.

That, sure, was the wisdom of her world,

Her old world now long gone,

When the law was still a genuine ass,

Not a chameleon in ass skin

That turns deathly black when around blacks

And pristine white when around whites.

 

Black or white, all will rue the loss of that world

When a man was safe if he behaved himself.

Now he’ll only keep out of trouble

If he behaves himself,

The police behave themselves,

And court behaves itself.

 

The 3 G’s of a girl

The 3 G’s of a teen girl, I had them all: guys, garb,

and games!

I looked with warmth upon their flow through my

hours

But with dread at the day when to the big G of my

nightmares they would turn: ghosts!

And one by one they did

When the hands of the clock with a mighty broom

Did slowly sweep them away.

The guys,

The garb,

And the games

From the grasp of my fortunes fled

Like leaves from autumn boughs shed.

 

Now with their ghosts alone I live.

Not shy ghosts as of my childhood—

The wispy souls bereft of flesh

That hid away in attics and cellars—

But the bold ghosts of day dreams

Sprung from the chambers of memory

To haunt scenes where I yearn to see their flesh

return

And pair again with the broken world in their wake

That I now with leaden substitutes inhabit.

 

By the cracks of my world I await that return,

And there in the meantime sweet fantasy looses

her angels

In playfields, playrooms, & playthings

To quell one by one the spectral eruptions of memory

they conjure.

But only to my ghost they lend their wings

To fly out to the world of my dreams

Where I find in the flesh the guys, garb, & games of yore.

Thus only as ghost and flesh do we nowadays meet:

When to me they come through memory

And when their visits I return through fantasy.

 

Immigrants & Neighbours: The Dirty Duo

At the national picket of the unhappy

I see large crooked coins

Hoisted like placards above the irate crowd.

On the first face, I see immigrants & owls embossed,

And on the second, snakes & neighbors.

It’s the coin they toss

To divine the wellspring of troubles

That every day beset this broken nation.

It turns at every toss to land first face up

When crime is up and jobs down.

The oracle, I know, holds the second face in reserve

To deploy on that day to come

When the homeland is rid of strange hairs and noses

But crime is still up and about

And jobs still down and out.

 

Yes, when immigrants are gone it’ll be neighbors in the dock

Taking blame for all national ills.

History will stand witness

As the whips and stones that now descend on immigrants

To break their bones and spirit

Give way to tanks and missiles

Sent forth to break bone and spirit

Across the trampled borders

To the east, west, and south

Previously crossed by immigrants

But now crossed by armies.

 

Wisdom beckons to the clueless right

But her call they will not heed.

With glee they hasten to their likes across the border,

Carrying their precious coins in tow

With which they purchase glib excuses

To explain away all national failure.

How little they know that when their deed is done

And all immigrants gone

We’ll be back to war, war, war

As of yore,

When the homeland had not strange hairs and noses

To take away from neighbors the blame for national ills.

 

My horse for a kingdom?

I rode to power on a Midwest horse,

Bearing amongst the feathers in my cap this terse brief

from my broken people:

To lay waste to the irksome order

That home and abroad now prevails.

Strained voices break out in the valley below

And many more in the world across the seas

Bidding me to dismount at once

And move to saddle the global kingdom

Of Reagan, Roosevelt, Clinton, …

That now is mine to ride.

 

Yet this very kingdom I came to crush;

My Midwest horse, I wouldn’t trade for it!

In her neighs, I hear a nay

Forbidding me to consider the bargain.

Her counsel I think I’ll heed

For between the two, she’s the easier to ride.

A horse that trots on cheap lies

Or a kingdom that floats on costly allies–

That’s the question I now confront.

 

Anti-war correspondent

At the start of the next war,

While the headlines scream “war, war, war”,

Go fit a lens to your gun’s barrel

And a reel of film in its magazine.

It would be a better war—don’t you agree?—

If all the innocents soon to face your gun

Froze in a pose

Anticipating the shots to come:

Shots of them, I mean,

Not shots at them!

 

When the order comes to open fire

That’ll be the time to peer through your gun sight

Ready to take to the field of battle

And go clicking away

At the follies of men in war,

The corporate vultures circling above,

And all the lies, lies, lies about the war.

For where blood spills,

There truth must spill too;

But oft in war, it’s the pills we get

To cloud our eyes and dim our minds.

 

Then, perhaps, we’ll someday learn

Why our boys and girls who march forth to war

Never do really as of old return.

The heroes of a thousand battles

Retreat to a thousand bottles

At the doctor’s and the barman’s.

Who we call survivors

And whom we call casualties

Their fates ultimately come equal:

One falls in the battlefield,

The other in the bottle-field—

But fall they all do, they all do, O lord!

 

The Promised Office

When darkness falls on the fortunes of men

And

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