poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Tag: childhood

Duck and Cover!

Duck and cover!
Head down! Hands behind head!
Knees on floor!

You are Hieronymus Bosch! Imagine flame! Smoke!

As if they were saying,
‘You are now a fish or a block of wood.’
‘We’ve got you where we want you.’

Did no parents, even once, wonder?
Or had the anesthesia already
kicked in.

Remain motionless!

Photos found online of school building and schoolchildren participating in ‘Duck and Cover’ exercises. I do not claim ownership of these images. I have used them to create new works for non-commercial purposes of parody, education, and commentary.

Rays of an Ancient Light Driving You Home

birdlandia

Did you possibly imagine (you couldn’t have)

t

On that youthful, sun-dappled afternoon,

p

The rays of an ancient light caressing your skin & inspiration, when you were

oo

A skipping stone striking at the perfect angles & gaining your balance,

o

Amusedly & perfectly crossing a warm stream at the edge of town,

spanish

The water fresh and the fences down,

ochre

Driving home after closing time…

h

The years marking your skin in ways the Great Depression & the

c

Enemy marked your psyche, past an abandoned brewery,

ff

Seeing the quiet streets coming up fast like a flood, silent as a submarine,

cc

Balancing on wet stones, laughing as you splashed & driving home

s

After closing time, to a lonely house, impervious to depth charges,

ee

Past the dislodged bricks of the abandoned brewery,

mm

Imagining that sun-splashed afternoon & shallow, sparkling water,

truly

Your children crossing streams within darkened rooms,

g

Finding their balance, in ways the enemy

faintly

Marked your psyche & warm afternoons caressed your inspiration,

a

An ancient star illuminating quiet streets, starlight splashing,

x

Streaming into and beyond abandoned spaces,

oo

Rays of an ancient light driving you home.

slbirdlandia

that time you were young

yyy

Remember

that time you were young

and you saw something

you almost forgot

and the faster you ran

the slower you arrived

yyyy

Van Gogh

was a bit like that

yyyyy

t

 

K.C. by Steven McCabe

boy and space 2

boy in space

Seeing the unseen between my eyes and outer space

new eye space

I was a boy painting my sparkling new bicycle

With house paint

now this

Squinting in the shade of a sunflower

Wiping soil and lumps of melted star off the brush

the sumerian flower

Aiming for that white-as-a-skeleton-invisible-sky-hourglass

Concept of two gods becoming one

sumerian lad

Me and my bicycle at the intersection –

Red lights fading my pupils dilated

triptych 2eye seven

from Jawbone – Ekstasis Editions – 2005

When I was a boy in Kansas City, one summer, I studied the sky. It was a dull white far off in the distance, and yet up close ‘it’ was invisible. So it dawned on me to paint my new bicycle white; up close the bicycle would be invisible, at a distance everything would seem normal. My mother was more than happy to keep me busy and found the paint and a couple of large brushes. I threw myself into the task, painting the seat, the chain, the handlebars…everything! Sadly the next day the paint flaked off and my experiment failed. Several decades later I was reading a creation myth about two gods battling in the sky. One god lost a foot to a sharp knife and black ‘blood’ (night of course) filled the sky. I remembered painting the bicycle, and decided to harmonize both ‘sky’ narratives, intertwining them in a poem. My editor reviewed my work and, being a minimalist, took out her pen; underlining, crossing out, and circling lines. In the end I had a nine line poem.