June 10, 2017

Five Poems by Peter Piekarski: "Common Ground," "Bury Me Not," "Orwellian," "Fireside Chat," and Ipso Facto"

 Peter Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly and a Pushcart Prize nominee. His poetry and interviews have appeared widely in literary journals internationally, including "Nimrod," "Portland Review," "Madala Journal," "Cream City Review," Poetry Salzburg," Pennsylvania Literary Journal," "Boston Poetry Magazine," and "Poetry Quarterly."  He has published a travel book, "Best Choices In Northern California, and "Time Lines," a book of poems.






Common Ground

A delirious populous scurries to constitute their society
while the gods of tyranny riding white horses approach.
Mable made her daily bread from the cable TV recipes
she copied down most copiously in a top secret journal.
Made memorable by virtue of his soaring talent and wit
the TV personality become crack politician was broken.
They claimed we could become a nation united one day
if only we would take up mourning the souls of demons.
With a lump of expended coal suspended upon his palm
Fred swore he’d never said what he meant to say instead.
Of the budding plutocracy a philosopher enshrined shred
the documents he’d intended to produce from plutonium.
There was a protest when they rolled out the new policy
declaring that organic fact is to be subordinated by vice.
The shyster who schlepped oysters in Sheboygan bound
by his caveat that to get respect you must first dish it out.
On practically every street corner in Manhattan we heard
joy and laughter as they applauded formation of frontiers.




Bury Me Not

Don’t bury me on some dismal plain. I instruct you to
cremate me and scatter my ashes on the American River
in Coloma, at Sutter’s Mill where I’ll blend with rapids
during their unimpeded rampage after a big storm.

Along the way to the ocean a contingent of dissident
refugees in tug boats will collect, chug beside my ashes
and snatch gold that tumbles in the roistering currents.

Our vigil down river will not be smooth, the gold filched
by privateers that sail waters worldwide. As well as gold
the soul of our nation hijacked, taken captive, tortured.

So we must lean on broad shoulders, the collective spirit
of those who have dedicated their lives to defend, protect
life and limb, urge them to enlist any available ordnance
in their quest to obliterate the grisly colossus, Ruin.

Nothing is indomitable, not even the universe. Chaos
the only order we know. Chaos is truth, and truth beauty
says Keats. Of this there can be no responsible dispute.





Orwellian

In an Orwellian sense the distance from here to nowhere
can be measured in light years. Stationed in present tense
the sphinx bends to compliance, integrates past and future
by way of a science through which it becomes nothingness.

Then the gold has run out, distanced itself from rationality,
for the populist czar brimming with unimaginable turpitude
makes his way pawing the crowd with holes in his pockets
through which the nation’s culture slips into fearful frenzy.

And yet none of the foregoing should rattle one’s feathers.
Lies don’t have wings. They fall like rocks, and eventually
cause an avalanche of dissent. The goods horded by misers
in ivory bowers we can’t see are most decidedly ephemeral.

Tweets get you nowhere. Love gets you everywhere. Thus
those shunted under the bus will rise up as one bold force
and cast asunder plundering pirates of freedom’s platitudes,
leaving little latitude to maneuver against pitted resistance.

Alternate reality he said he didn’t mean, but it was uttered
in such a powerful tone as to stultify our popular dynamics.
When shoes hit the ground and placards abound veins are
strained, and our rights ascend from the dark ocean floor.

It came scratching at my chamber door as I slumbered
he said in response to the question of why he was dead
set on embracing ideology contrary to established belief
perpetuated by public opinion and documented in blood.

Media the medium. Twinkle twinkle little periwinkle.
Barefoot in the kitchen her motto, she frying catfish in
a blue-hot skillet. We will resume construction today of
rights everyone unwittingly relinquished absent consent.

Missionaries emerge from the shadows of long absent
data. A man-child with IQ beyond your furthest reach
smirks as flash points sink. No-one wants to cave, not
you, not me nor the owl asleep in a palm tree at dawn.

The new administration is an old incarnation instituted
ages ago. The oxygen in the green room growing thin is
no excuse for substituting law for flawed anthropology.
What we see we paint, what we contest made obsolete.




Fireside Chat

Aurora Borealis in the mind’s eye illumes
a hidden world where birds don’t stir
and elephants fly.

Wool spun on a wooden wheel makes cloth,
and so it’s incumbent on you to vote
your conscience.

Assured that you’ve saved adequate time
in storage, enough to last a life,
a noble goal is achieved.

Mosque in Quebec shot up, and another
in Texas burned to the ground.
Tut-tut. Ta-ta.

My side is your side as we watch siblings
on the obverse of our planet skip,
slurping sunshine.

Superconductor technology promises data
will be transmitted instantaneously
to an appreciative society.

Applaud the beginning’s end of whining
about ostensibly insurmountable
obstacles we face.

Being seems surreal but isn’t any more
than my cat in its cove lapping wine
from a silver chalice.

So many problems to solve sans solutions
in the queue add up to melancholy
come spring.

The human element seems foreign as faces
vaporize while one walks a long block
downtown at midnight.

Once love was an obvious imperative for
sanguine peoples getting licked
by gleaming moonbeams.




Ipso Facto

Dissonant integration. Cosmic confluences abound. Worlds whir.

Tribal digression. Earth deserts the solar system. My words dead.

Trying to survive. Sleep come easy. Summersault in dim starlight.

This unconstitutional. Invisible sister sips nectar. Day winds down.

Consistency my aim. Clouds twist the mind. Evolution hits brakes.

Time a nice idea. Tri-headed dragon breathes flames. Nuptial love.

Her candor fetchingly glamorous. White consults black. Big news.

Memory irrelevant. Nerves welded together. Clock in but not out.

Immigrants from every galaxy drift. Ice defied. Deal a royal flush.

Chain gang crowds the horizon. Universal wealth. My eyes yours.

Living illiterate. Take a walk on the sun. Play a lyre just for kicks.

Dystopian oaf zooms past. Art and science merge. Panic subdued.

Absorb sweet music. Convert light to energy. Support revolution.

Refrain from rhetoric. Apples morph into snakes. I can’t see God.

No room for pain. Poachers gleam. Opinions form meteor showers.

Concepts leave vapor trails. Praise us. Systemic change universal.

Matter over mind. Limitless fusion. Ethics have been put on pause.

Something isn’t anything. Once was another thought. Blue moons.

Aliens carefully vetted. Chicanery not allowed. Implications void.

Imperial orders denied. Anarchy abated. History remains obscure.

Known facts germinate. Nuclear winter silenced. Dreams conform.

Black lightning arises. Ship in every port. So many happy returns.


© Peter Piekarski



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