Poetry

After the business of dealing with storage and holding elections, let’s think about how to make this a good space for sharing poems that are on mission.

For now, could not resist sharing one from Max Wheat, the Nassau County Poet Laureate, and a PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse performer:

American Mourning Poem

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments
leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess
and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

George W. Bush
President of the United States
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

American Service Men and Women Dead – 4,000*

Coming Home

In catacombs of military transports
destined for Dover Air Force Base,
loves, beliefs, ideals, plans:
Hancock Community College,
University of Miami,
New York Police Academy,
weddings, children,
barbeques, baseball, bass fishing-
All lidded down inside caskets
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

25-year-old Marine Corps Corporal
St. George, Maine.
Sailor, rock climber, stargazer.
On dance floor, “. . . like a magnet.”
Loves lobsters, mussels-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

30-year-old Army Private First Class
Tuba City, Arizona.
“. . . young, single mother and capable.”
Her boy, 4 – her girl, 3.
Woman proud of her Hopi heritage-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

20-year-old Marine Corps Corporal
La Harpe, Illinois.
High school football, basketball player,
lifeguard at health club pool,
lifts weights,
going to be a physical trainer.
Joins Marine Corps Reserve
to pay for studies at Southern Illinois University-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

21-year-old Marine Corps Corporal
Gallatin, Tennessee.
Nurses dying mother with his humor,
dresses in clown costumes for nieces’ birthdays.
History buff, reads fat books about generals,
presidents, the Revolutionary War-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

24-year-old Coast Guard Petty Officer
Northport, New York.
Wife, three months pregnant.
Wants to be a policeman like his father.
“. . . the kind of person that you fall in love with
the minute that you meet him,” a friend says-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

A father, a mother grieve for their only son, an Army Specialist.
“He wanted to be an engineer,” the father remembers.
“He wanted to set up his own business when he got out.
And I says, ‘Amigo, I’m waiting for you to get out
so we can put up our own business.’
And all that, well, you know, is history.”

The Major General carefully, caringly folds The American Flag,
places the nation’s ensign into the mother’s hands

*March 24, 2008

Permission Given to Use Poem with Author Credit
Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr.
E-mail: Maxwell623 at aol.com

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tom stock  |  February 17, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Max is the master of details, listing in the Walt Whitman tradition, using fresh language and an inspiration to us all. He inspired by love, positivity, and gushing encouragement. I hope to publish my pine barrens poems this year largely because of his encouragement, support, and desire that I have no typos or spelling errors in the manuscript.
    Tom Stock

  • 2. gayledorsky  |  March 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    great, my famous poem
    Fun in the sun
    fun at the sea
    free to be me!
    Spring time
    Favorite time
    All mine
    It is fine!

  • 3. kwilder  |  March 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Great to hear from you! Hope to see you around soon. Maybe at a coffeehouse!
    ;)
    Kimberly

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