—Photos Courtesy of Louis Kasatkin
mythic streets evaporate at dawn,
FACE IN THE PICTURE
There’s a face in the Picture,
there’s a face in the picture that’s just faded out;
there was a face in the picture that you could clearly see
there was a face in the picture that was standing next to you and me;
the face in the picture was smiling, laughing, grinning,
the face was doing what most faces do;
the face in the picture had a name, had a life, had a home, had a child
but the face in the picture doesn’t “have” any of these anymore;
it’s another face in a newspaper
a face that’s a story,
a face we won’t see anymore;
“4 buckets of vodka and red bull,
20 bottles of lager,
shots of Sambuca and Jack Daniels
during a 36-hour binge”.
The report concluded:
452 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine
death from alcohol toxicity are expected at 350 microgrammes.
But the face in the Picture didn’t know that.
PORTRAIT OF GENERAL AFTER BATTLE
Smoke wreathed distant battlements,
Wakefield Cathedral. The man in the clerical collar was
the Dean of the Cathedral.
lemonade on the verandah after supper,
DISPARATE THOUGHTS ON MY BIRTHDAY
Shall we fail or shall we
try to achieve a little before
we fail in any case;
If we forget the words
to a song won’t it
get sung ever again?
Putting our hand up first
with the answer
we invariably incur the wrath
of the dullards behind us,
who wait in perpetual dread that
they might be called upon to think;
Do we try to extinguish the candles
on our birthday cake one by one
or all at once?
what gain is there if one is left
to flicker flicker alone and serene
amid the encroaching gloom.
in attendance, together with the Dean and
an official of the local Council's
THE BIG SHORT
Did they offer you a thought
for all your pennies?
did they want your gold
in exchange for a goose’s egg?
did they swap your silver linings
for a sky full of clouds?
Would you trade your last dollar
for their word of honour?
Do you keep all of their promises
in a jar ready to use on a rainy day?
and all of these things
they saw but they did not see,
they heard but they did not hear,
and they knew,
they knew it all
but still they tried not to know.
IN VINO VERITAS
Opportunities like seagulls in flocks
have flown by,
precious moments and chances
whipped away suddenly from our grasp,
sent whirling skyward
into ethereal anonymity,
revealing an emptiness
exposing a hollow shell
cracking at the seams;
whispers shall be our deliverance
but not for a while yet,
and the mists of morning
accompany us with their dull cadences
which we often mistake for unwarranted approbation;
there is neither failure nor success,
neither defeat nor triumph;
our gilded shields and splendid spears
have rendered nought
but an inheritance of tears;
Somewhere in the drowning stream
as the Sun sets and encroaching night
begins its long slow asphyxiation
of what we thought was our day,
a solitary flower is placed carefully
on an unmarked grave in a church yard
at the edge of the coming Storm.
There is a ticking sound
and it is the slow ticking
ticking away of our lives;
each day is a ticking bomb
which we need to defuse,
and having accomplished that
the very next bomb starts ticking;
What life actually is,
is not about dealing with
one bomb at a time,
we are confronted by,
and find ourselves
in the midst of,
a whole room full
of ticking bombs;
and theirs is the slow
A drop is rainfall
A leaf is windfall
A grain is harvest
Lack is plenty
Absence is attendance
Happiness is suffering
Achievement is failure
All is nothing
This morning’s poetry brunch is from England, clear across the pond! Welcome to the Kitchen, Louis Kasatkin, who writes: in my spare time I am a civic, community, and political activist, a blogger and general nuisance to the status quo! I’m currently Editorial Administrator at www.destinypoets.co.uk, which is the growing and successful website of Destiny Poets UK, of which I'm also the Founder. This particular groundbreaking project/undertaking comes in the wake of and as a qualitative development from all my previous successful works and promotions. I was the very first Poet-in-Residence to be appointed to such a post anywhere in the World of Professional Rugby (both Union and League) in November 1999 at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. As a follow-up to that, in April 2001 Wakefield Cathedral appointed me the very first Poet-in-Residence at any Church community in the UK. In 2002 with private sector corporate funding, I founded the The Cathedral Poets at Wakefield. I'm proud to be serving currently on the Board of Senior Editors at episteme, the online academic journal of Bharat College, Mumbai.
Thanks, Louis, for the poems and for the snapshots of poetry life in Wakefield, England—and don’t be a stranger!
—Medusa, noting also that NorCal's Paco Marquez Reyes announces that the fifth issue of OccuPoetry is now available online at occupypoetry.org.