Inspiration · Poetry · R.M. Engelhardt · R.M. ENGELHARDT, THE RESURRECTION WALTZ · The New Verse Movement

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RIP UNCLE WALT

WALT WHITMAN IS DEAD

waltwhitman

 

WALT WHITMAN IS DEAD

Where are you now?

Uncle?

Poet?

Walt?

Old man, child of the Long Island

Free verse son of America,

Teacher & government work-man?

“Human – Being”

Citizen

Man… Mind of the spirit

Spirit, in the flesh

Where have you gone?

Disappeared

Now a ghost

Among the leaves,

The rest.

Uncle,

I see your name written in

School books and upon the wind

And within the rain,

And I still hear your songs fill the air

In the forests & the city streets

Body … Electric.

But father?

Uncle?

Where are you now?

Where have you been?

Gone, gone away from

What you loved most, the land

Yet buried beneath the green

Green meadows, valleys & time

Of ages.

Meditating within the oldest of trees

Silent thru out new ages.

For a book is merely paper

But a voice must ask or say

Invoke yea and awaken others from

The vast darkness & the gray

For uncle, poetic father,

Your America has sadly changed.

No longer the free land

Of promise, no longer do we

Dream like you once dreamt

We still fight wars and without hope

Falter & lose ourselves,

Souls within the damned dark & dense.

So uncle, father.

Return and sit here for a while

And bring some comfort the dying of poets, poetry &

The young boys, and now women…soldiers,

Decimated in faraway lands

You never mentioned in your poems

Or ever heard of.

For it rumored

That you are dead.

And yet?

The 21st century & centuries to come

May yet remember thee still,

And write your verse upon some wall in yet

Another revolution coming.

For it is the same world that

Faces us today Walt Whitman,

One of a new slavery & lack of, death of spirit

That you would not begin to comprehend

Where the poor are now

The slaves of corporation & debt

And prejudice

Still runs rampant…yet hidden

Behind best intentions.

So would you,

Father, Uncle Walt

Still stand insolent? Defiant?

Would you, Walt Whitman

Still stand up & among the

Working class?

But alas,

It is no longer your time here

But your heart & soul remain,

For we, the poets who still struggle

Must create our own new voices & names,

Speak, of what is now & not of the past

To audiences not of one land, but many.

So, Uncle? I owe you an apology.

For you, Walt Whitman are dead.

A timeless friend

And a memory

That we must let rest

To create a new vision.

That one day brings your spirit,

Your uncorrupted vision

“Back”

For if we miss you in one place?

We shall search for you

In another.

__________________

~ R.M. ENGELHARDT 

 
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