"Manzanar," "Elegy," and "trumpet call"

Manzanar

how can we just forget
the white-toothed sierra
that cut across our humanity
and bloodied our hands
(damned spots)
that will not wash off
like Pilate’s
on some fabled Friday

I stand on these plains
and see a desolation
beneath those snowy mountains
gashed by that serrated sky
separating heaven
from this false Gehenna
where we waged war
upon ourselves

now despite the years
and lessons taught
the fearful still slash out
unsympathetic
even knowing they too will bleed
and will cling to not remembering

 


 

Elegy

Beneath soft skies and damp wrapped mountains
old men now bundled in earth against this cold
are fading memories of their war
like sepia photographs lost in attics
yet even the brown and burned hills
will with the coming spring
be covered in poppies
that never heard the songs that bullets sing
while the sage and owl’s clover
bear witness the folly that keeps this land
planted with the lost from each new campaign
though nothing ever seems to grow
save misunderstanding

 


 

trumpet call

there
it is a fanfare
a call
a tune to stir the core
of every common Martian
each alien listening in
to hear the notes
handed down formulas
hymns untouched by humanity
that mimic the beat of hearts
pumping dark ichor through sterile veins
pure
dis-compassionate
while they stare coldly
at the streak of meteors
across our star-flecked sky
stars that we share
for how could we not
though alien
and strange beyond understanding
they are our neighbors

 

 

Mark A. Fisher is a writer, poet, and playwright living in Tehachapi, California. His poetry has appeared in: Spectrum, Dragon Poet Review, Altadena Poetry Review, Penumbra and other places. His first chapbook, drifter, is available from Amazon. His second, hour of lead, won the 2017 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 22:52