I'm a retired teacher and school administrator and I've written poetry, seriously and less than seriously, since I was a teenager. It's only recently that I've taken seriously the idea of sharing my poems beyond these four walls—where they're met with great acclaim by my wife and sometimes by my daughter—and my poems have appeared in journals, e-zines, and anthologies. My chapbook, Exactly Like Love, will be published in 2016 by Osedax Press.
Waiting for the Singularity
We have the means right now to live long enough to live forever.. .But most baby boomers won't make it because they are unaware of the accelerating aging process in their bodies and the opportunity to intervene.
Like Moses denied the Promised Land,
we weren’t built for the world to come
where machine and man are one.
The parade will begin without us,
as those who leave us joyfully behind
toss their walkers and canes
as if Our Lady had landed like Dorothy
on their former, miserable selves
and they begin what’s called
Soon our loss will be but
a few lines in dusty textbooks:
Everything began to fail.
Their tongues searched
for words they’d never find.
Their penises wouldn’t obey.
All their parts wilted just that way
and soon they were bound
for the analog museum.
So while we’re still able,
let’s gather at the Church of the Born-Too-Soon,
receive each other at the table
and set in order the things that are on it:
our tired laurels, ill-gotten gains,
and the mess of the world we’ve made.
We won’t have the bounty of endless time
to repair, but there will be oh so many
to share our labors with.
-originally published in Newtown Literary, 2014
Sunrise Fire (August, 1995)
We were able to keep up so long
as the flame followed the old railroad tracks.
But when it leapfrogged Sunrise Highway,
and bounded deep into the Pine Barrens,
all hell broke loose.
Even the buck moth scattered
and the white-footed mice
that eat acorns and pine seeds
and the red-eyed towhees and field sparrows,
with their bright pink bills from their nests.
We figured an act of God—
the sun had baked the ground
where no rain had reached all summer,
and filled the floor with pine cones and oak leaves
which dry so easy and burn so well—
the way it brought with it this eerie quiet
as it blocked off access to the East End
the height of the season.
When the sun came up next,
the volunteers had all gone home
and the way the light bounced off the smolder and char
made it look lonely and lovely and ours—
no sudden pit stops, no emergency shopping,
no traffic whine taking up the silence.
But the sons-of-bitches and their wives,
and their kids and their European au pairs
must pray to more powerful gods—
they took to yachts, private planes and helicopters.
And it came to pass the last weekend of summer
that some started to sow and rebuild and repair,
and others got where they were destined to go.
-originally published in Recession, Depression and Economic Reflection, Local Gems Press.
©2016 Alan Walowitz
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