Bio Note: I’ve been writing poetry since 2014. The Vietnam War is the subject of many of those poems. There are some experiences that persist in my memory and they attract my poetic attention. There is a feeling of catharsis in committing these memories to something as concrete as words. So that’s my real motivation.
I travel once more to a place in my mind Where memories, dim and distant, Are like a silent movie Whose images are lacking continuity, Once lived, but not forgotten, A distorted vision of another life, Another time and point of view, One totally askew from me now, From what makes sense, From what seems right, From what I can justify In a confusion of masculinity And notions of the “hero,” A train wreck of emotions And dissonant thoughts, A contradiction of oughts And what might have beens, An unreality of sorts, A bitter brew, Something stuck in the craw, Something on which to draw For inspiration, perhaps, Or impetus for collapse, For bringing an end to Memories.
I’m picking up the pieces With persistence, The shards of an existence, Evidence, clues, questions, Silent voices from the past, Like an ancient shattered pot Unearthed and reconstructed. Was this a ceremonial vessel Echoing of chants and songs, Of ritual incantations? Or was it just a simple cup, A relic of some humble life, A struggle to survive, Not to figure out the answers, Not to ponder or wonder about meaning, Not fantasizing possible worlds? Only the pieces are left, Ground in the grist mill Of history, Lost to time and mystery, Forever passing, Forever forgetting The stuff of life.
©2022 Karl Michel
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