By: Carl “Papa” Palmer
curtains closed clock shows 4AM or PM
seated heavily at my kitchen table
gripping a cup of twice heated cold coffee
still in pajama bottoms busy being alone
this space once ours gathering stillness
rereading the page of unwritten words
sought then forgotten pencil poised
awaiting a first line for this poem
Bookshelf Prophecy 2020 – COVID
All this happened, more or less.
It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.
It was a bright cold day in April
and the clocks were striking thirteen.
We started dying before the snow,
and like the snow, we continued to fall.
We are lost in darkness and distance.
and not enough to see by.
After tomorrow, another day
Are there any questions?
So that in the end, there was no end.
We shall never again be as we were.
The above poem draws inspiration from:
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
1984, George Orwell
Tracks, R. Davidson
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
The Tree of Man, Patrick White
Wings of the Dove, Henry James
It is what it is
I’ve heard it a lot lately. Is it a current cliché
or catch phrase, the pat answer recap signaling
an end to any further conversation about it ?
Like the sobbing boy holding his empty cone,
ice cream scoop on the floor as his dad hugs
him and says, Don’t cry, son, it is what it is.
Or a response of surrender, of defeat, giving up,
helplessly accepting things being what they are,
nothing more and nothing can be done about it ?
Like the coach at the post game press conference
fielding endless questions about why he lost the
game ending his interview with, It is what it is.
Rather than it is what it is, maybe it should be
it ain’t what it ain’t ~ ‘taint what ‘taint
or it is not what it is not ~ ‘snot what ‘snot.
Still, whatever it is or it isn’t, it remains it.
It is what it is ~ it’s what it’s
or as the poet says, ‘tis what ‘tis.
Bio: Carl “Papa” Palmer
Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington.
He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
He’s currently enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer.
PAPA’s MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!
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