Thursday 5 May 2022

5 Poems by Frank Joussen


one piece of really bad news
spatters dark spots all over
the positive images of my day –
the invitation from a long lost friend,
the smiling face, the warm embrace
of my favourite colleague,
even the praise from a totally
unexpected source –

for how can I turn my inward eye
towards these bright rewards
and shining promises
without seeing your exhausted face
without rereading your doctor’s
cryptic report with the one word
that should lack clarity
but unbearably fails to do so:

your cancer’s growing
and my field of vision’s shrinking
till all I can seeis a little white dad
amidst a forest of black Xs.

Excavation Dream

At Dad’s funeral
I couldn´t see the coffin
for the wreaths and bunches of flowers –
pink, lilac, orange, whitish.
I couldn´t find my mother,
let alone console her,
amidst the throngs of strangers –
desperate, lonely, crying wildly, freely!
And I was still praying
for concentration
when it was all over.

Now in my dream burial
I'm level with a huge excavator
at the bottom of the grave –
digging, digging methodically, unhurriedly
both sides of the dead-wood sarcophagus
till I stop it in its tracks
asking it
how much burial ground
that yellowish or whitish thing from hell
is still going to clear
and for what else
and for whom.


Frank Joussen is a German teacher and writer. His publications include five book projects, published in India, Germany and Romania. His poems and short stories have also been published in literary magazines and anthologies in India, Australia, G.B., Eire, Germany, Romania, Malta, the U.S.A., Canada, India, China, Thailand and Japan.

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