Daily Archives: March 3, 2017

Our Mobiles by Paul Brookes

I am not a silent poet

(inspired by Cath Campbell)

are in the shape
of small graves
for children
who mine the precious
metal inside
that makes them work
and you look
into the screen
to stay connected
but do not see
their gritted lives
as they haul
the valuable
out of the hole
and the world
has never been
so connected
by the small grave
you carry in your pocket.

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Supply Lines by Cath Campbell

I am not a silent poet

Red skies crush rock and land,
crush this mineral rich community,
this scandale geologique,
crush this thin boy of six.
Santu’s feet slap grinding hours in early light,
hums his childing voice in western tunes.
He won’t reach nine without strong bones.
Devils drill his marrow, worm young lungs
until he cannot breathe. Cannot work
to dig the minerals from the dirt.
Can no longer carry sorrow on his back,
which hurts protesting heavy sacks.
I composed this poem on electronics
powered by ion battery boost with cobalt.
Samsung, Huayou and Microsoft.
I write about his death before its time
with the instrument of his demise.
I am sorry, Child. I am sorry …
Sorry you were born into this state.
It is not only bombs that decimate.

The Congo is the White man’s grave?
I find it not so true, after all,
for the graves here are very small.

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Migration by Bill Pendergraft

I am not a silent poet

along the marsh
the body of the little clerk
below the reed, magnolia arms
that stretched into the sea

I held him in my hand, a migrant warbler
eyes laid shut, a lolling tongue
no outward sign of harm, no broken wing or feather gone
his feet curled like two fists

I have seen him once before
a young man back from war
who sat silently in class
his head own on his desk

he had crossed the gulf each season too
returning to his father’s dock and nets
he did his work and like the tide
he was there, and then he left

we never understood his loss
or ours, no sign of harm
no broken wing or feather gone
yet worn by long flights home
when no one took his life
he took his own


From Bill Pendergraft’s forthcoming book, The Lowcountry

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The son of an unknown soldier by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

I want to think of you young in the parachuting smoke where you met him
his brass buttons cold against your cheek as you danced to conscripted tunes.
Your stolen kiss after war must have felt like a dabbed wound to his mouth.

I dreamt I was made in the waterfall’s shroud that dropped in tresses of red
and when you spoke his name dusk became an unpicked scab of no man’s land.

I am the son of an unknown soldier who died with earth in his fingernails.
I am the son of an unknown woman who lived in the earth with his hands.
His hands, his hands, his hands, was all she said when we danced each autumn.

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