PoetryPause Blog – Matthew Ashbrook

EuroTrash

by on Nov.22, 2017, under Poetry

When I was growing up a boy
The races all were known
By color that their skin evoked,
The shading and the tone.

The natives of America
Were known for their red skin,
The Asians from the Orient,
Their shade a yellow spin.

Hispanics every shade of brown,
And Africans were black,
And marauding Europeans were
White for pigment lacked.

None of course the color called,
‘Twas just a useful tool –
Pointed out the origins
Not meant as being cruel.

Offensive I found at the time
A simple child’s toy –
Crayola Crayons multi-pack
That brought so many joy.

For inside each and every box
A color wrapped and bound;
Labeled with the signature,
A crayon flesh was found.

As a child, I found this strange
As everybody’s skin
Was flesh of equal quantity
Though many not my twin.

The crayon mimicked white man’s skin,
Not yellow, red or black –
As if the only flesh there was
Was that upon my back.

I doubt that crayon bears that name
Today as once it did,
But it disturbed me at the time
When I was just a kid.

Identifying people now
By color isn’t right,
But somehow through the changing times
I’m referenced yet as white.

So heretofore I call on you
To tag me with the hash –
No longer reference me as white
But simply Euro-trash.

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Perspective

by on Sep.26, 2017, under Uncategorized

See the little arrow?
The little tiny dot?
The sea of black and blue
The little bitty spot?

The foreground is a spaceship,
And Saturn’s golden rings;
The dot the earth and home to
The mightiest of kings.

The conqueror and conquered,
The wealthy and the pawn,
And every petty grievance
That mankind ever spawned.

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Grandparents

by on Sep.24, 2017, under Poetry

Novelty eggs
On the ceiling above
An old-fashioned stove
Where cooking was love
Where bacon from hogs
Kept out in a pen
Would deep fry the eggs
From one of their hens
That Virgil would tend
Along with the crops
And baling hay
No resting, no stops,
Having toiled all day
Doing steel mill work
With his twinkling eyes
And an all-knowing smirk,
While Mabel kept home
Making butter and bread
And fresh chicken fried
That kept us all fed
On a farm playing host
To cattle and pigs
And guineas and horses
And old oil rigs
Where a Piper Cup fell
One day from the sky
And explored what was left
With the wonders and whys
The stuff that comprises
The man that I am
Their souls full of grace
And gentle as lambs.

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Parting

by on Sep.18, 2017, under Poetry

In the vacuum of departure,
Your presence becomes thought;
Distilled into the memory,
The presence you had brought.

In a town of too few people,
Fewer can be felt;
And loss intensely written
On those to whom it’s dealt.

Upon the vapor trailing,
Behind the parting jet,
The sediment of spirit
And you, I’ll not forget.

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Fingers

by on Sep.15, 2017, under Uncategorized

Three frolicking fingers serrated
By strings that musically muse;
Resulting in calloused contusion
From hours of six-string abuse.

Well known that the artist must suffer,
Tormented producing his craft;
But the artist’s suspicion would never
Suspect he’d need fingers to graft.

His anguish should stem from the ether,
By a soul and a spirit that ache
Not waylaid by cavernous fingers
Left in the suffering’s wake.

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Down the Line

by on Sep.13, 2017, under Poetry

They’re folding up tents now,
The show is leaving town;
A show that brought a smile,
Leaving nothing but a frown.

A parking lot that’s empty,
No lights ignite the night;
No revelers in chorus
Laughing in delight.

The trapeze been dismantled,
The circus rings are packed;
The big top hits the highway,
Along with every act.

New faces will be waiting
For the circus lights that shine;
When the old show reassembles
Somewhere down the line.

Nothing ever changes,
The new replace the old
To follow every footstep
In every story told.

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Now and Then

by on Aug.30, 2017, under Poetry

You’ve got to put your feet up
Every now and then
To reconcile footsteps,
Take note of where you’ve been.

Contemplate the baggage
You’ve gathered on the way;
The good, the bad, the humdrum
That brought you to this day.

Gaze across the landscape,
Survey the open skies
And ponder on the meaning,
The hows and whats and whys.

Reorganize the closet
Of thoughts within your mind
To calm a restless spirit
When thoughts have misaligned.

To reconcile footsteps,
Take note of where you’ve been,
You’ve got to put your feet up
Every now and then.

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Sanctuary Concerts

by on Aug.29, 2017, under Poetry

They’re closing down the venue,
Age will take its toll,
The Sanctuary Concerts
No longer will extol
The virtue of the poets
Who bring to life a song
And share the bigger picture
Of where we all belong.

A little Jersey Chapel,
A Chatham setting quaint,
An intimate arrangement
Where art and soul acquaint,
Concludes its running showcase
Of artists few will know
By name but know their songbooks,
Through others were bestowed.

McGuinn and Janice Ian,
Tom Paxton and Nick Lowe;
Suzanne Vega and Josh Ritter,
And Winchester’s last show
Where power was disrupted
And candles lit the stage
While pews of patrons gathered
‘Round Jesse to engage.

The man behind the project,
Undone by time that passed,
Unable to continue
Leaves memories that were cast –
Self-conscious teardrops forming
That fell without restraint,
Moved within the canvas
Of pictures they would paint.

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Antler Bar

by on Aug.13, 2017, under Poetry

The Antler Bar in Lewiston
A cozy atmosphere
To share a conversation ‘neath
A pewter chandelier.

Grab a couple corner stools
And sidle up astride;
A pair of potent potables,
Begin the evening’s ride.

Proximity insinuates
An intimate affair,
Like teeth rotating on a gear
Their legs engage in pair.

Between the appetizers and
The slipping out the door,
They’ll cover matters of the heart,
The past and what’s in store.

Beyond the tweeting Twitter scene
And FaceBook’s public posts,
The Antler Bar in Lewiston
Is hosting hidden ghosts.

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Currents

by on Aug.08, 2017, under Uncategorized

She’s falling in love and I fear
Very soon she’ll then disappear;
In pursuit of the passion
Biologically fashioned,
For genetically she’s engineered.

Unexpected her company’s been.
Unsolicited we’ve become friends.
But decades apart,
In both mind and heart,
From beginning an unlikely blend.

From the banks of the river that serve
As an outpost from which I observe
As the current she rides
Carries her from my side,
Forever in memory’s preserve.

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