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Poetry Magnum Opus

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The early morning sunlight spread its rays over them,
the black umbrella held over him by his partner,
and under its shade he opens his Bible
exposing it in the sun.
Beside him the old man stared at the page,
squinting his eyes, his white-grey hairs glowing in the sun
some sweat sliding down his sun-baked, half-dressed body,
pausing from the day's toils,
from news of another human being
found dead in some forgotten corner of everybody's mind,
while others walked by carrying their poverty
in public,
as some women clustered around a nearby seat
where a child was crying, unmindful of another death
in the neighborhood, killed with gunshots
that woke them up to another day.
The preacher gave him a magazine, yellow as the sun
with the cover title asking, 'Angels- Are They Real?'
(This is an attempt to combine two things that are important to me at present. My volunteer work in my public Christian ministry as  a Jehovah's Witnesses and my love to write poetry.)

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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As usual Joel, your words flow like honey.  You capture a real world that sweats, cries and is often numbed to the tragedies that surround them. You offer hope to bring light into that dark world.  Good writing.   


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Thanks for the feedback, Tinker/Judi.  The poem was based on a photograph that inspired me to describe and position the message in the context of the killings in our neighborhood due to the government's anti-drug war. 

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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David W. Parsley

Profound use of juxtaposition, Joel.  If you are of a mind to revise or hone the piece, consider the possibility of finding alternate expressions of "sun-baked" and "toils".  The rest of the poem rings with the power of clear-eyed and original observation.

I love the ambiguity of that final stanza.  One moment I am thinking that that the magazine cover's message is completely orthogonal, projecting nothing that relates to the difficulties of people in that circumstance; the next, I see it as a sun-yellow ray in the darkness, exactly what is needed: the brilliance of the poet is in showing, not telling the reader what to make of it all.

Thanks (I think!),

 - Dave

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David, improving a poem never ends. I will look into your suggestion and come back to this poem. Thanks too.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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