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

BURN

homeless

Burn

by R.M. Engelhardt

in the night
december
the cold wind, the frozen
world

stands still
like an abstract
like a painting

without motion.

without sound.

smoke & the harsh light
of streetlamps, reality
dirt white city sidewalks
and the panhandlers
at the bus stop
telling their tale
their stories

to buy another bottle
or another pint.

all fallen, all once born
children
from someplace

somewhere.

who had once believed
who had once had faith

like “you”

the story of mankind
the story of every past
history, and poverty,
promises…and life.

brother sister child mother
ghosts of selves dying beneath
the light. a last dance, a curtin bow
the only time that we see them
in our eyes…

merry christmas
happy new year

nothing has changed
no more is given other
than what is given
like a greeting or like a gift

you are a saint
you have given him a whole dollar

to eat

you have changed
his life completely,
love and sin, drink no more
the gods are all smiling
upon your soul

but the george bailey in
this story has no clarence
and no one gives a damn,
the shelters are all full
and the angels have all ran

far far away
with their wings
to look after
themselves

peace on earth,
good will towards men

their breath,
still hanging upon
the cold wind and
the smoke of their cigarette
and its burn…

do you have a dollar?
a smoke?

can I be you? warm?
heart beating inside
not realizing
that the man under the
jacket’s hood

is “you”

merry christmas.

peace on earth

good will towards men,

good will
towards men.

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