Relation Ship and Other Poems
– Poetry by Jack Donahue –
of fools, the two of us
squared to the sea,
no rudder, no captain,
no sails to see us through,
unclear who is looking ahead
the other behind
us, just us.
There were others
but now just us
when did it all fall apart,
years of misunderstanding
exposed, baking in the hot sun,
every thing emptied out
of our beings
yet still on this journey
lips sealed shut
that once were moist
and moved with more
then so many years
waves of others
Now, we touch again,
being held accountable,
you and I,
THE FIRST DROP OF RAIN
The first drop of rain on my arm
reminds me of his touch,
the special needs man on a leash,
tethered to the ticking clock,
a record of the time he has to live
a difficult life.
Think how easy your life is now
with no one to care for, not even an animal,
the hollow places of the heart
so easily repaired with airtight plugs.
Then the second drop falls, the third, the fourth,
signifying a change in the weather:
eye-piercing wind, wet with dust,
what logs lie in the road ahead,
torrents, floods, rescue teams
drown in sorrow.
There is no one left to save on the island,
evacuated, each given their last dying kiss,
an invisible vapor
what’s left on earth.
FIRE IN THE LITTLE OLD CHURCH
The fire of the spirit
chars perfect attendance rewards,
burns to the ground
meeting notes, scrapbooks,
stubs of pencils
marked to build this fortress
of too many years ago
before the neighborhood gave way
to Sunday morning joggers and jugglers
of whole fruit yogurt-coated nuts,
who work up a sweat in and out of scaffolds
and boulevard flower pots.
The poor, especially
remember the pantry ladies
with ladles and smiles,
many buried in graves
on the far hill
thinner now, stomachs
leaving little room
for uncertain largesse.
Crowds venture forth a guess about the end story.
Some say the flames remind them of Satan’s afterglow.
You just never know who forced them to church.
Many who were not here at the ground breaking,
the rising, the dedication
now munch on muffins, smell the wet ash,
see the ladders lowered.
Even the tiniest sparrow
finds a crumb in the rubble,
takes a drink, bathes in puddles
formed by the firemen’s outpouring
of water and foam
and whatever else it takes
to silence the psalms, the prayers and the praise.
About the Author – Jack Donahue
Jack Donahue is a poet, short story writer and playwright. Numerous poems and works of fiction written by Jack Donahue have been published in literary arts journals such as: Bindweed (Ireland); Prole (U.K.); Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria); The Main Street Rag; Armarolla (Cypress); Opossum; North Dakota Quarterly; The Almagre Review and others throughout North America, Europe and India. Jack received his M.Div. degree from New Brunswick, Theological Seminary, NJ in 2008. He is married and resides on the North Fork of Long Island, New York
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