Friday, September 04, 2015

Old blogs, new blogs, old poems, new poems

I just realized my link to an old poem is gone from my old website, so I'm adding the image here so I don't lose it.  "Respiratory Tech at the Vietnam Memorial, 1989" began my poetry for publication efforts by winning the grand prize in Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Poetry competition (out of almost 4300 entries).  I was very pleased with the presentation--at that time and even now, they don't always publish the winning poem, but they paired mine with a perfect image that really captured the emotion.

Even though it took me two more years to venture into publishing, I now have more than 50 poems published in a variety of journals and websites, from children's magazines to refereed academic journals to mainstream poetry journals, both print and online.  I am slow but steady, or at least I have been the past few years!

Respiratory Tech at the Vietnam Memorial, 1989

he sees the names carved on the slick black wall
the names appear in death order
he sees the letters that make up the names of the dead
but he cannot read them
he sees the light reflecting on the black wall that bears the names of the dead
he sees his face reflected on the shiny black wall
he sees the names of the dead written on his face
but he cannot read them
the black wall turns white and he sees the faces of the near-dead on their white beds
he sees the black pictures of the black lungs of the near-dead
he sees the blue lips of the black-lunged men as they rasp for breath
their lips shape the names of the dead written on the black wall
but he cannot read them
he walks and walks beside the long wall the color of old blood
he sees the names blur into shapes that writhe like the lips of dying men
he sees the first name and the last name but he knows that is a lie
the names go and on
the pain
the pain
will never die.

(originally published in Writer's Digest, August 2007)

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