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These are short poems about mostly my experiences on a naval minesweeper.
I have read and commented on poems of
others. These are three short poems
for others to comment on, if they wish:
The dim swart oblong off the bow below the sea surface
slowly gains colors, the yellow and tan of polished shoes,
then four moving limbs, an up-jutting head, a carapace,
and lastly, a being, gorgeous in the blue amphibian (meaningless
a thousand miles at sea), a turtle, hundred fold heavier
than its cousins in the inland creeks at home; we will slowly pass.
Without fins, scales, or propelling tail, it paddles about
as my spaniel puppy in this my first ever sighting, seemingly not
headed anywhere, idling, of companions
companions solely without.
About amidships a swell lifts it deck
me squarely in the eye to exult in its
long swims and remind
of their victory over the hares. But
from a subliminal nook
in my brain different notions arise;
swift porpoise lark
about in schools, small black whales
swim by in lanquid pods,
tuna roil the sea in numbers uncount-
able; even stingaree and shark
do not swim so singly; you, turtle,
alone are so alone,
awkward dog paddler, only half at home;
astern now you are
the lonesomest thing I have ever
seen; I poignantly reckon
as I stare at you fading awayl, that
my own war-, sea-
small-ship loneliness pales beside
your birth-bound solitude,
and that for this day, maybe more,
lightens my bounden war legacy.
Point of View
They are noble, people say,
and they are too
in what they do,
guide the blind on the way.
But have you ever known
a Seeing Eye Dog
that didn't slog,
duty-depressed, head down.
So you who turn to admire
think too how great
the old wolf's forfeit
to eat leftovers, sleep by the fire.
I step ashore and
only streets, bare streets,
nothing along them
to bespeak a city
homes, hospitals, hotels,
courthouses, firehouses, butchershops,
fish markets, cafes, groceries,
dairies, playgounds, schools,
post offices, drugstores, factories,
stadiums, temples, churches.
Inside the now
polygon street geometry
there is only
work product of long-distance, lever-
pulling, switch-pressing , bomb-blasting
by unblooded fly-boys
who saw only brown puffs
or bright flashes,
no dismembered mothers,
no charbroiled children,
Along the polygons
I make out
not a lintel, not a stud, not a fascia,
not a jamb, not a door frame, not a pillar,
not a rafter, not a joist, not a gable,
not a stair step, not a table, not a see-saw,
not a butcher block, not a pew, not an alter,
not a law book, not a fire hose, not a school desk,
only charred shattered
Although two of these have some rhyme, I don't normally write in rhyme.
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|Reviewed by Eugene Williams
|Your piece was a challange and I welcomed it as an explosion of humanity gathering at the well of what it is to be human .. very good|
|Reviewed by L. Figgins
|You are a poet, Sir. Thank you for a taste of what must have been my father's life in the USN in 'At Passing'. In 'Point of View'-how true. You can't even pet a seeing-eye dog. They are duty-bound and tied to the leash and harness. 'Fukuoka' is a reminder of the price of "glory". Saved. Please do write more!|
|Reviewed by 000 000
|A Passing- I could smell the sea as I read. How wonderful to have seen all of this and write it so descriptively!
Point Of View-The guide dogs live to get petted and walk. They are true companions. A lovely writing.
|Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse
|The first poem reminded me of a documentary I saw on Kon Tiki (I think that's the right spelling). I've heard of this experience from others that were ocean sailing--especially in sail boats, close to the water so the engine noise doesn't scare the sea creatures away. Enjoyed the building image of the turle.
The second poem of the seeing eye dog was appropriate because it reminds us that we have made slaves of living creatures that have no choice if they want to live and be kept. I imagine circus performing dolphins feel the same way but can't hand their heads. I read somehwere that dolphins living in captivity have a shorter lifespan compared to wild dophins.
The last poem depicts the total destruction of war. I served in Vietnam as a field radio operator in the Marines in 1966. We lost less than 50,000 in Vietnam but killed more than two million--many innocent mothers and children that were in the way as the bombs and shells fell from the sky. I saw Puff the Magic Dragon flying slowly in circles spewing more than six thousand rounds a minute at the jungle below, stripping trees of leaves and turning humans into blood red fog.
|Reviewed by Lois Christensen
|You have seen sights of sea creatures many have not. Describing them in the first poem kept my attention throughout. Seeing eye dogs are lonely except with their masters and are not to be petted as you would another dog, it takes the attention away from the handicapped person it is leading.As to the third, it is great descriptive piece of write and so true. My deceased Cousin Paul said he got over to Germany just as the war ended and had to stay to help put pieces together again. He said it was not a good sight to see for anybody. He long remembered it til the day he died. all the poems are from your heart and good to post on den. We like writers to share from the heart and not be afraid of the challenge.|
|Reviewed by Susan de Vegter
|My father would be happy to read your poetry about the sea. He was on the USS Savannah and His identical twin was on the USS O'Bannon. I inherited his diary about the Naval battles, Guadacanal , South Pacitic, etc. I don't know that I will ever understand the terminology of a bolson's mate.
|Reviewed by Chris Wright
|I think Point of View really struck me. It's a great prospective from a seeing eye dog or perhaps any subordinate aiding a person above them. It goes to show that nobility isn't necessary the ruling party but often the lower class or in this case dog that leads the way for the blind man to get to where he wants to be. This poem is extradionary because it applies to so much going on in government and in the business world. I have enjoyed your words and keep writing brother!|
|Reviewed by Dawn Mullan
|Great verses, I hope you publish some more poetry for us to read. Thank you, DL Mullan|
|Reviewed by Vesna Perkovic
|Indeed a job well done..thoroughly enjoyed..
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|Free verse is good. And one of my favorites.
|Reviewed by Leonard Goslee
|I enjoyed these three poems for their contents and art.
Thank you for sharing them.
L. T. Goslee
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Greetings to Author-Poet Rush Williams.
Enjoyed the reading of "Short Poems", "A Passing", "Point of View", and "At Fukuoka".
Your works show a unique style of One that feels the aroma of wisdom, knowledge and art.
Please, keep posting, Poet!
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU