Poetry

‘A Pilgrim’s Progress’ and other poems

By: Michael Foldes

A Pilgrim’s Progress

A fish can only feed so many flies.
So the earth makes a lowly home for the worm.
How complete the visitor who shares
experience with the stranger.
We meditate in crowded rooms as easily
as on the Holy Mountain, for peace and serenity
are found only inside. Awareness is a thing
of the past. A figment of the imagination.
We prepare, but are never ready
when the time comes.
One monk is most concerned for the Orthodox;
another admits that behind those beautiful walls,
in the midst of that Gethsemane,
are both good and bad, advising guests
to take away the good and put the bad to good use.

###

Dog Goes Where I Go

Dog goes where I go.
Should I disappear,
dog will disappear with me.
Should I choose to break away,
to find sanctuary in the sodden wood,
dog will be at my blind side
where he might do some good.
No harm will come to me
long as that scoundrel,
that wisp of enlightenment,
trails along the path I walk,
the path no other crosses
without fair warning –
a tooth, a nail, a snarl.
Dog goes where I go,
all love and fury
at the finger snap
should I disappear.

###

Argonne Street, Endwell

What were they doing down by the river
where the willows were cut and lay now
sideways, kicking up dry limbs
around triple giant stumps? Who said
this would look better, be safer,
after the floods took out all the homes
in the backwater. Who said there
would be something better to fill the basin
than dichotomous bodies waiting
for the next flood to carry them away,
all after one-hundred years of watching
the world move while they stood fast?
What moron loosed the idiot with the chain saw,
and who didn’t finish the chop job?
Who thought we were still at war?

###

Memoir

It’s your lie.
Tell it
the way
you want.

###

Carve Me An Apple

Carve me an apple
The size of your throat.
Take measure of the soul
And share a meal
When morning breaks
Listen for the shards.

Somewhere along the line
I hanged myself
By the neck until dead.
It was a beautiful day
The weather reporter
Said.

No such thing
As the same page
In this book.
Not sure where
The sentence ends
Or why that look.

The past so far back,
is omnipresent;
A walk in the woods
With a long-handled axe
Playing music
Not played before.

###

No Immunity

What makes us think
we are immune?
An inland sea of salt stretches
far as the eye can see.
What we leave behind
will matter as much tomorrow
as the air we breathe today.
We learn what life was like
then,
before change took its place
on the mantle of history.
Was it plague, ice, fire
or some other factor
that wiped earth clean
of its archaic detritus.
Its experiments in life,
and living?
What put us here
is almost irrelevant,
a mere curiosity
with which we can occupy
ourselves as much or as little
as we please;
Those cave paintings,
that mastodon bone,
that geode with its crystal heart.
Or nearer yet,
broken columns
on the hills of Rome,
Buried treasure
in a Greek necropolis,
marble statues
of blind prophets,
painted angels ascending.
What makes us think
we are immune,
when empty towers
protrude like stalagmites
on islands,
and there is no one
to see them as they were,
only as they are,
curiosities
for idle occupants
of the next new age
to contemplate.

Categories: Poetry

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