Bio Note: I am a writer and teacher who currently serves as President of Alaska Writers Guild and Editor-in-Chief of The Poets' Touchstone, a publication of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. You can learn more about me and my work at caitbuxbaum.com. Both of these poems were originally composed in response to images shared by Rattle Magazine for their monthly Ekphrastic Challenge. The title of the first poem is a nod to the first line of the song "Sixteen Tons," made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Some People Say A Man Is Made Outta Mud
god-dirt smeared with rabbinic blood as yet unquenched by thought or flood with one ear lent to the devout we’re shadowed deep in self-made doubt chiseled by varied tools of Age Adam’s kin are still puttied sage but threatened by the knife of time all mortals rule with carob lies loud voices thick with promises wage battles for the daises built with babbling followers pigmented foul by pretty words some dollared sense casts clearer votes than visions brushed with broader strokes of long success in mind and means by which the poor are not appeased for pay-dirt is the price of life deep-scarred with lines of peace and strife and those who watch the world burn must know to dust we will return
Dirty Laundry as Prayer Flags for the Non-Buddhist
Peace does not become those of us who grieve the living; instead, we wave our wet anguish in the still air of cyberspace, hanging every vivid garment of our suffering with hope that the winds created by our screen-printed desires— interwoven with sunsets & sad song lyrics—might stir something in another soul, might dry our tears & wounds, without kicking up the dust of suspicion, devastating our threadbare hearts, soiling every interaction with anger or regret. If we understood hell, we would not be here, pinning the sins that clothe us to this lifeline, every act— and un-act—a colorful prayer for ignorance.
©2022 Caitlin M. S. Buxbaum
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