Wednesday 20 April 2016

2 Poems by David Kern

We Stand on the Cusp of Greatness 

We built with grass, with clay, with wood—all we needed was fire, 
a ferry and pole to master the depths of war-torn woe; 
we traded the vessels of fear on our backs for desire, 
a distraction to carry us over the Wheat Field’s mire, 
and an option to life on Hank Ford’s perpetual row. 
We built with grass, with clay, with wood—all we needed was fire. 
We watched the brick smokestack belch and the serpent inched higher; 
we swore no man would wrap our hearts or our necks in that bow. 
We had traded vessels of fear from our backs for desire. 
A diamond mined out of the salt-strewn soil cuts the briers; 
unchained from ignorance, industry, war we prize the glow 
of sunshine patriots armed with wood—I swear they’re on fire! 
Sacred soil we claim and defend in the name of our sires. 
They stare through the slats in the fence with just high hopes to sow, 
and lick the salt from our sweating backs bent low by desire. 
The ballast is scattered life chafe—the word from the criers. 
Our sabers are shortened to spikes still we know what we know. 
We built with grass, with clay, with wood—there was no need for fire; 
it laps at our heals with roaring, orange tongues of desire. 

For G.G. 

I miss you today. 
I miss your words, the things you say over coffee. 
I miss the way you converse, 
weaving together references to Dylan and Descartes. 
I miss the way your intelligence masks none of your practicality, 
the way you refuse to climb aboard the fat-free bandwagon. 
I miss our discussions on love, dreams, regrets, 
the brilliance of Garcia and Grisman. 
I’ve learned my lessons well, 
on loving my wife and reading good books, 
drinking fine coffee and finer beer. 
I think I would have two now, if you were here to enjoy them with me. 


  1. I really love the poem "For G.G.", Jerry needs to appear in more poems.

  2. Thank you, Tim Staley. The world in general needs a bit more Jerry Garcia.