Tuesday 5 May 2020

3 Poems by George Payne

A Soldier Almost Out of His Body

Almost out of my body,
I have seen things that I
can not explain or even feel.
Like a blush on the gray cheeks
of a corpse,
as if I am putting
on someone else's makeup
just to go out and kill.

Knowing That It Doesn't Matter

Hear the sermons in the clouds-
that pure experience of big, bright bursts
of Congolese rainfall in the middle of May.
The feeling of a phone losing reception,
and knowing that it doesn't matter

The One Reduced

There is a question among Zen masters:
When the many are reduced to one, to what
is the one reduced?

The one is reduced to the liberating truth. The
sunrise. The Law of Karma. A history of photography,
and two boys dancing on the Moon.

The one is a thousand kinds of funeral foods.
No matter what may come, people are hungry.

And we are not the fastest sharks in the ocean.
Most of our time is spent getting rid of our own waste.

What a waste. The one reduced is the one who has learned
how to not waste. Flashed in front of a new intruder, they will
not flinch at the thought of being eaten alive.


Payne’s poetry has appeared in many journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Cholla Needles, The Adirondack Almanac, Mojave He{art}t Review, MORIA Poetry Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, Front Porch Review, Chronogram Magazine, Talker of the Town, Zingara Poetry Review, Ovi Magazine, River Poets Journal, Adelaide, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, Califragile, Deep South Magazine, Amethyst Review, From the Edge Poetry Magazine, and others. His blogs, essays, and letters to the editor, have appeared in national and international publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Toronto Sun, the Havana Times, the Atlantic, and Rolling Stone.

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