Saturday 5 November 2016

5 Poems by Bradley R. Strahan


Failing reason

we succumb
to the heavenly
insurance man
Who else
can guarantee
           that high
           the lie
we tell ourselves
when we eye
the cracked
in the mirror.



i charge you to remember
          these words
the code to my memory
my face
when bone has ground to dust
you would
not notice in a crowd
brown eyes
gray hair all unremarkable
my photo
long faded is here mind alone
no more
distractions you know me when
          i speak


Light dapples on tent walls,
patterns of leaf and cloud.

The wind touches us;
it plays in your soft hair.

Passing through oak boughs
it strokes a harp of leaves.

The clean smell of your body
blends with woodsmoke and flowers.

Behind your eyes you ripple
like a windblown fire.


Yes, in that moment,
         it is
all those lullabies
and love songs you ever wrote,

And, in those moments,
         it was
neon colors, lips, lights,
several seas we crossed.

So, in this moment,
         It goes
with falling rain,
with falling hair -
    just a moment


(a Victorian device that made pictures
 appear to be in motion, Name derived
 from the Greek words for life & turning)

What a contrivance.
The world as it turns
makes it all appear real.
We must believe this
as though belief
were a screen on which
we could project our lives
over and over, and say:
so true, so fine, so alive.


Bradley R. Strahan, Taught poetry at Georgetown Univ. for 12 years. From  2002-4 was Fulbright Professor of Poetry & American Culture in the Balkans. He has 6 books of poetry & over 600 poems in: America, Confrontation, Christian Century, The Hollins Critic, Poet Lore, etc. etc.& many anthologies. His recent book, This Art of Losing, has been translated into French. His latest poetry book, about his year in Ireland is   “A Parting Glass”, also translated into French at the Univ. of Leige, Belgium.

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