Sunday, July 31, 2011


Image borrowed from Bing


Damndest thing you could imagine,
your last visceral memory being
that flash,
that concussive sledge hammer,
with the lingering taste
of figs and falafel
on your torn lips,
hearing staccato rifle fire
between the Farsi beats,
the amplified calls
to prayer pounding through
the terrible heat,
seeing the blood sun setting
majestically behind a minaret,
bleeding day into the murk of the Tigris,
a quick glimpse of
two dogs chasing a feral cat,
two boys playing soccer,
two crows dueling over something dead,
the pungent smell of sewer nearby,
goat frying, gun oil,
some forgotten chocolate—
all passing in review on fast forward
as you rise effortlessly
from the operating table,
from ripped up heart shards barely beating,
between the big silver clamps
holding your chest open, up and up to
above the doctors,
above your own body, just this
whiffed smear of ambient light
to the higher self saying
to the soul,
“Come home now, they are all waiting.”

Glenn Buttkus

July 2011

Listed as #9 over on Magpie Tales 76

Would you like to hear the Author read this poem to you?


Tess Kincaid said...

This is really powerful, Glenn. You take this tragic, heaviest of scenes and end it with the gentlest hovering spirit.

I especially like "figs and falafel" and "goat frying, gun oil". Great write.

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree with Tess. Very powerful, with the softest of endings. I like it.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Brian Miller said...

whew...gritty and raw but ends so very nicely sir...very well penned...

robkistner said...

kick ass stuff Glenn...

Laurie Kolp said...

WOW! The sharp images and powerful words, the flash of his life... awesome stuff!

Ann Grenier said...

This is wonderful Glenn. Amazing how your thoughts and words come together in such a work of art.

jen revved said...

Not easy to pull this off but so much visceral detail works to great effect. Excellent! xxxj

R. Burnett Baker said...

A profound piece, Glenn. I'm reminded thematically of the poetry of the late Robert Creeley, and the CD titled "So There" by Steve Swallow (link provided).

You've written and recited a painful, yet needed poem for life....

R. Burnett Baker said...

sorry... forgot the link:

Doctor FTSE said...

Good one, Glen. One to read over several times.

Carrie Burtt said...

A powerful write Glen! :-)