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Poetry Offerings From E. P. Allan | Poem



Portrait of a Somali Woman

I've come to say good-bye

Cerunnus's May Dance

Black holes

short bio





Portrait of a Somali Woman
Jeddah Port May 10 2001

One foot
        perched on the upper
rim of the curb
               the other thrust
out into the passing street
humped over like a potato
long brown arms
               thin as fence rails
sweep bright tan grain
from out the gutter

Her green dress
               dull with the silica
of passing cars
               dessert wind
& the whisper of poverty
     rotted teeth
         industrial discharge
presses tight
             against her stork legs

Her fingers
           nimble as bird beaks
pick out stones
               the shiny curled
lips of soda pull tabs
                      the wrinkled
dog's bottoms of pruned cigarette butts
from out the golden sands spilled
from the indifference of trucks

A left-over Hadji 
                 not here 
for the dizzying heights of Mecca
but for the more spiritual
clink of coin
             this became her final
destination fitted into place
as easily as a light bulb
     a rubber band
         a razor slicing wrists
her face is long
                    peering out
the canary yellow scarf
bleached with sun
                 pounding upon
sea wet rocks
             & darned precisely
with bits of mismatched
      twilled together from button holes
dead pants
           and frayed shirt labels
& the midnight circle
                     of her eyes
are as silent as windows
       in abandoned stores

next   /   menu


I've come to say good-bye

to these mountains,
blurred with the blue haze
of pollen & clouds,
floating over the green-
yellow seas of young rice
with rough, craggy countenances
remote and as unattainably
serene as Buddhas;

to the people I come to know
& watch grow old - the winds
of time hardening our faces
and bodies with mortality's
reminder - & must recognize
the event of our separation,
of the fathomless sea 
(for what sea full of the wrack
of life and death
can be fathomed in the pale
light of the imagination)
which will soon raise an
impenetrable wall of distance
& time between us;

to say farewell to the person
and moment I was & say hello
to the person who will be
and is now in the dark
abandoned room of being -
a small voice nagging me
forward the way a mosquito
irritates the sleeping
ear into wakefulness;

so good-bye,
until we can wholly embrace
in some undreamt future
(contained in the possibilities
of time past
         & time present)
and can laugh and sing
under fields so green
that death & separation
is an event which even the wind
forgets to whisper

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Cerunnus's May Dance

Leap oh antlered one -
the animals are waiting
    to learn your grace

Kick up your heels
& twist
     mouth open
tongue cleaved to the throbbing

   Spring is in the air
it is in the blackthorn's bud
   in the crumpled pink of blossoms
& in the wet cress's green

     I say
           is in the watchful wind
it is in the thrush's darting eye

So wake the world with your dance
grasp the adder
           & shake the cold 
                   sleep of winter out

She's your partner
                 your emerald queen
of stone & grass at the forest's edge
   she's all the life you have

So dance together
   into the haze of summer mountains
(Spring bottom up so it climbs)
   until the goat-footed top you reach

   & there wait the hot days out -
a lisping tongue licked in your ear
   & an ophidian's breath
within your lilting step

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Black holes

           Scientists are blind
they must tear the monkey into bloody
blobs of fur & sinew & bone
only to tell you what you weren't
stupid enough to have to kill for
that yes
        it did have a heart
a set of teeth
              a tongue
an anus
        & all the other body
parts that mammals seem to be
enlivened with
              & no we don't
know how to put it back together
& what else is a monkey for
but the sideways slice of a scapel
hair spray grizzled into eyes
with steel wires
                & yes electric prodes
are dangerous to your health
but it was just a monkey -
a banana eating machine
excreting highly potassiumized 
fecal matter 
            & boy did it fly
when those corkscrews were twisted
into its head
             & what has the world gained
we now know the exact pitch
a monkey torn beyond pain
can achieve
           we have pinned it down
for we are improving the world
making it ready for genetically
altered monkeys to give birth
through test tubes to other 3 headed
monkeys troops just enraged enough
at their own existence to kill other
genetically defective monkeys
for we are not Monkey Mengeles
we are relieving the human
         improving your life
& with each barbed wired tongue
       each electric cage
            singing monkey fur into black blobs
            of searing tar
       each floor-wax
                            & boric acid
             dip crinkling the skin into plastic
we are making the world
septic & safe

short bio   /   menu


short bio:

E. P. has an MFA from The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in Creative Miss-spelling.  He has won The American Poet's Prize and The Cole Younger Poets' Award.  He has published about 40 poems or so both on the internet and in traditional mags.  E. P has taught English as a Second, Language in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. Currently he is teaching at Shikoku Junior College in Zentsuji Japan.  Allan: "What makes me what to write is the feeling that writing poetry is somehow playing.  I enjoy the rush of energy which occures when an image or a phrase is spot on and I also enjoy when other poets do the same." Some of his favorite poets are Russell Eddson, Charles Bukowski, Wendel Berry, and Li Po.

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