March 8, 2015

POETRY BY DAN JACOBY "OOMAKA TOKATAKIYA (LAST RIDE), PENCIL SHARPENER, RURAL CHILDHOOD"


Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University. He has published poetry in Belle Rev Review, Chicago Literati, Indiana Voice Journal, Haunted Waters Press, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, Red Fez and the Vehicle. He has work soon to be published in Bombay Gin, Canary, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Clockwise Cat, and Psychokinetic. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets.
Read more of Dan's poetry in the September 2014 Issue of IVJ.






oomaka  tokatakiya  (last ride)





three hundred miles

historic,  hostile territory
late december 1890
7th cavalry with hotchkiss cannon
three hundred Big Foot, Miniconjou, Hunkpapa Lakota
in dead of winter
blizzard closing in
trying to reach red cloud
at pine ridge

intercepted by white soldiers
made to overnight
at wounded knee creek
that next morning
black coyote, old and deaf,
refused to surrender his weapons
single shot echoes
in the narrow barren draw
in less than an hour
all are dead or dying
left on ground to freeze
hurried mass grave their resting place
next to the crooked creek

something else died there
in the blood splattered mud
a dream, the nations hoop
broken, scattered
the center was gone
the sacred tree is no more

 


pencil sharpener
 



one night I began
looking, a quest
for a pencil sharpener
like the kids  have at school

I ventured into
my daughters’ old desks
long derelict
girls are away now
desks tinned like shrines

opening drawers took me back
through their childhoods
erasers in heart and bear shapes
old baseball cards we got together
pencils, lots, never used
old school notes
college application forms
valentines from boys
pictures marking milestones
athletic awards
college letters from coaches
books we read together
unlocking vivid memories forgotten

all started looking for a sharpener
because those pencils
unsharpened , blunted, abandoned
helped my perspective, not of their departure, my loss
but the gift of their lives
to share in their ongoing experiences
like their first steps, first day of school
graduations, jobs, husbands,
my grandchildren



rural childhood



lick creek starts up
in bear point
east of the reader y
drops down into macoupin
bottoms crossing route 111
wanders west then north
in western mound township
until it joins hodges
just beyond route 108 and
just below hagaman

east of this pleistocene union
just recently arrived eagles
survey black water
below new deal bridge
looking for carp
or buffalo to rise
two male redwings battle
to impress some hidden lady
cottonmouth zigzags
running with the fast eddying current

air is heavy in july heat
promising a thunderstorm
a washed out ball game
remembering the penned peacocks
calling off in the evening
as a child rafting like huck,
side wheeling, dreaming like sawyer
avoiding ivy, brambles and briars

just along the rock ford as
hummingbirds glided over an
ancient cork fishing bobber
under blue grackle flooding shade
kingfisher checks my luck
just as I nod off

~Dan Jacoby

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