February 24, 2019

Three Poems by Duane Vorhees: "The Poet", "Mean Time", and "All History is Prophecy."

Duane Vorhees was born in Germantown, Ohio, near the Indiana border. He moved to nearby Farmersville when he was 10 and spent his adolescence there -- or, rather, his adolescence spent him! After high school he briefly attended "The" Ohio State University before graduating from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio with a degree in American Studies. And then, predictably enough, he left Ohio for good (or bad, of course, depending on one's preference). He has spent most of his life abroad, mainly teaching in Korea and Japan for the marvelously redundantly named University of Maryland University College. Now he is happily retired in Khon Kaen, Thailand, where he publishes a daily creative arts magazine, duanespoetree.blogspot.com.

                           Photo by David Allen

The Poet

Come. Find me in some brick and vinyl inn
when your soul is frozen in hard winter,
lost in vast fastnesses of dark hinterland.
I’m the one with dirk and violin.

Look for me when you need swans or lions
to lead you through strange varied habitats of being –
saved relieved smitten bereft –
with pygmy verse uttered by a giant.

Mean Time

tarot decks
can’t change their spots
they just relax
until they’re dealt,
lots cast by Rome’s guards
(start with Fool
and hang a god,
or end with World
and find a fraud)

news in type
bears no promise
save of strike
and head lined gore;
these nameless infamous
of our world
take no more from us
than what we give to whores
(lord what a hooker time is)

ink of scribe
has no memory
unless petrified
in blood and stone;
history is the mystery
of mud and bones
(how many of me, me, me
have died or grown
since yesterday)

All History is Prophecy 

Blind men at dusk predict
the next day will bring light.

No past dies completely.
its bone cements my wall,
and its ash congregates
in these porcelain dolls.

All prophecy
is history –
bounty or blight.
All of our tomorrows
are mysteries today.
Yes, “the future looks bright”
--there’s too much glare to see
the soonest cloud bringing
the silver and the stain.

I’m in Hiroshima, just waiting for the plane.

Duane Vorhees

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