Poetry by Tony Brewer : “You and I are Human Beings” “the Seashell & the Clergyman”

You and I are human beings

small enough to be details
large enough to care
destined to disappear
containing all Earth talk

land mass from the feminine
to be time divine Father I suppose

laughing thinking fretting
even dreaming we lie awake
peopling other lives
finding ourselves living
our own lives when awake

O comfort you and I are the muse
when the world is like this
(and it is never not exactly this)

love secondary to no thing
as we rise from shadow nests
bleary with a dawnward work look

no small think to see & squawk
human consciousness a terrible burden
I will carry when you are weary
(and you are often tired)

I will always give it back

sharing not a human invention
we constantly realize
after the fact

The Seashell & the Clergyman

He holds it to his ear
& hears the universe
speak his name

an orchestra
of clear reverence
& wizened listening

while I get static hiss
echo of my halting
tinnitus for reveries past

shhh they shush
shut up

a collection
of soaps in a basket
on the back of the toilet
in the bathroom at Mr Lubie

TONY BREWER is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival and his books include: The Great American
Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (2010), Hot Type Cold Read (2013), and Homunculus (2019). Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over 10 years, and he is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods.
IG: @demand4poetry
TW: @WordsmithTonyB
FB: @xtonybrewerx
website: tonybrewer71.blogspot.com

photo by Catherine Ari-Harthiany (unsplash)

3 poems by Tim Heerdink : “In a City of Cathedrals, I Weep” “Veteran’s Day” “When the Cardinal Comes to Visit”

In a City of Cathedrals, I Weep

I weep upon sight of the towering cross
       each block there is a new monument risen by the faithful
     to stand and remind passersby
                that tithes and offerings can raise astonishing structures
          and account for the maintenance
                while cleansing your conscience and wallet.

Belief in the unseen isn’t impossible for me,
                              but it’s getting hard to continue practicing
         worship for an entity
                         who damned us at conception.

How can I find peace in such hostility?
            All these denominations standing
    like hotspots on a city map
                                have a common outlook.
        Chosen ones awaiting departure,
                                     waving farewell to the unforgiven.

What if there is a Creator
                   who gets off on our torment,
           events that could be prevented but play
                                      because of will and destiny?
       Is that love?

Perhaps we are entertainment
                       on the stage of a grand theater on opening night.
          A night without end
                           for death just begins the next act
                       where roles are decided upon your behavior,
                                                   how much you’re willing to sacrifice.

Veteran’s Day

When the eleventh day of the eleventh month comes
around, I am forced to relive the beginning of the end.

I still can hear the frantic cries of my dad on the phone
as he informed me that he was too late in saving Mom.

What we feared for months came into fruition with a wreck
that for us made all the clocks in the world come to a stop.

Others are celebrating veterans of wars on foreign soil
while I recall her internal battle with her brain tumor.

Cancer pulled the first shot to ignite months of struggle,
& it ultimately claimed her in the war, yet she is the victor.

This disease is like a bully that keeps finding more victims
to wear down until they no longer are themselves.

Mom has a new body where she’s at now & no longer needs
the broken shell that had no other choice but to crash.

When the Cardinal comes to Visit

It is said that when a loved one crosses planes
of consciousness & enter their new form,
they occasionally come back as a bird.

Cardinals are the commonly chosen hosts
for their red feathers are stark in the gray
skies which cover the lives of those in mourning.

Like a little girl tossed around among the crowd,
the cardinal fights its way through for a glimpse
& to deliver a message from beyond the treetops.

I hang special seed to attract only these kind
so I can feel my deceased ones’ presence
nearby whenever doing my best seems hard.

Several states share the cardinal as their official
bird to be treasured by all who watch with scopes;
we remain in eternal mourning in the Midwest.

Bio: Tim Heerdink is the author of Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well, The Human Remains, Red Flag and Other Poems, Razed Monuments, Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Sailing the Edge of Time, I Hear a Siren’s Call, Ghost Map, A Cacophony of Birds in the House of Dread, and short stories, The Tithing of Man and HEA-VEN2. His poems appear in various journals and anthologies. He is the President of Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville, Indiana.

Wolfpack Honorary Contributor: Tim Heerdink

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Tim Heerdink