Tom Sleigh

(Texas / United States)

Stranding


What came wafting
down the ditch
by the marsh grass waving
opened a hole
in the day through which,

like a puff of breath,
a ghost fountained up
rising in soft slo-mo,
lost, desolate, no place
left to go.

Dear bloody
Beirut and its internet cafes
were still smoking
from last night's
'little bombing.'

Such threads, tattered sleeves
blown all over the street
from Emporio Armani.
Husband and wife shot
dead at the airport checkpoint.

Where else would this lead?
The investiture
of grieving takes all day
to sweep up in the tidal spillage
of plate glass.

What ish my nation,
asked Captain MacMorris
between battles.
But the ditch knows
just who we are—

and I see its only water
on a stealth raid
of the glimmer
hidden in the reeds.
And when I come close,

little scavenger flashings
and great claws held out rigidly
scuttle back into mud holes
drilling the bank.
Bending down to look,

I could smell the corruption's
gathering, sweetish odor,
its sonar gone haywire
driving it to shore.
What choices are you given,

what makes you want to swim
out of your own element?
The demure little ear-holes
and intelligent clear eyes,
the fate from birth sealed

inside its smile,
spent flukes and tail
being gnawed to bone.
The curt unrevealing stare
mirroring back my own.

Submitted: Monday, July 14, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 14, 2014

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Stranding by Tom Sleigh )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

New Poems

  1. Blue Octavo Haiku, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  2. Algonquin Afterthoughts, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  3. After Eden, Rachel Todd Wetzsteon
  4. Because We Closed Our Eyes, A.j. Binash
  5. three, laxami Cards
  6. For Colin McCahon [NZ Painter: 1919 -1987], Keith Johnson
  7. Why I never visited NZ from OZ in 1970, Keith Johnson
  8. Dark Lady, Keith Johnson
  9. Naboth's vineyard, Gert Strydom
  10. Those Girls, Keith Johnson

Poem of the Day

poet Edgar Allan Poe

Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme-
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Jacques Prevert

 

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]