Poet’s Basement

by Robert Davies, Frank Ford & Jon Taylor

Melons and Mendelssohn
Melons and Mendelssohn
mellow days of autumn
the end of harvest
andante season.

And yet our country teeters,
weapons plentiful
as the fallen leaves
or hanging soldiers.

Winter rains bring floods
unyielding soil
dying cities
and dying souls.

We are extended like Khazars
our backs to cold desperates,
peoples we despoiled
just waiting to pounce.

I dream of another
country of un-fearful young
to wars un-driven
by our wars untouched

a generous country
under a harvest moon
serene melon
a hefty moon.

(Previously published at poetrymagazine.com)
Robert A. Davies lives in the booster village of Portland, OR.  He was co-editor for Mr. Cogito magazine for more than 20 years and has published widely in the little magazines on and offline.  He is author of Tracks In Oregon, Timber and Sometimes Subversive.  He can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net.


A Political Story

Government places me with Crystal family, murky

yet patriotic. And walking distance to the prison

where I go monthly to see my parents.

Both incarcerated for attempting to overthrow, etc.

Mother with explosives, my father, vague tactics.

In less hysterical times he’s sent home with a scolding.

After each visit, daughter Jeanette asks me five questions, recording my answers in a marbled composition book.

Since the answers are glaringly obvious, she stops

after a few months.

In Dickens, an attraction develops, but she has no sex,

and shares the family trait of periodically exploding

for no reason.

After both parents die in prison, I get sent to a recently-discovered uncle in Montana. He proves pure gold!–open, loving, fond of fart jokes. “Emotionally, I never got out of the six grade,” he announces in his rusty pickup

as we bang over dirt roads on the way to fishing holes.

Yeah, it’s all too Norman Rockwell.

Saves my life.

He passes when I enter Missoula as an Art Education Major, a flight of flannel-shirted angels carrying him to St Peter, who detains him until he hears every single fart joke.

Well, my fancy. I’ve others.

Strange to say, I now teach in the high school not far

from the prison. Jeanette warms up enough to marry the hardware store owner, who, noting a curt way with

customers, sets her up with an International Maids

Franchise, where immigrant women clean houses.

Ostensibly in an old-world, scrubbing way.

I got the best job in the world, teaching art to willing youngsters. And, blessedly, out of the political loop

run by a cabal of English and Shop teachers,

being too “flighty.”

Live-in girlfriend considers me normal. We’re both,

of course, crazy.

Frank Ford watches yachts glide by in Florida–no recession evident.


Two Ostriches

Both right and left

Have their heads buried in the sand

Not in the same hole of course

Each has its own

The right

Keeps its head buried

In the “Magic of the marketplace

Will make us all rich” hole

The left

Has its head stuck

In the “Identity politics

Multicultural golden age” hole

While the same bombing

Starving, invading, enslaving

Imprisoning, torturing, assassinating beast

Bears down on both of them

Jon Taylor lives in Nashville, TN. He can be reached at jtab@bellsouth.net.


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire
Halyna Mokrushyna
Decentralization Reform in Ukraine
Norman Pollack
World Capitalism, a Basket Case: A Layman’s View
Sarah Lazare
Listening to Iraq
John Laforge
NSP/Xcel Energy Falsified Welding Test Documents on Rad Waste Casks
Wendell G Bradley
Drilling for Wattenberg Oil is Not Profitable
Joy First
Wisconsin Walk for Peace and Justice: Nine Arrested at Volk Field
Mel Gurtov
China’s Insecurity
Mateo Pimentel
An Operator’s Guide to Trump’s Racism
Yves Engler
Harper Conservatives and Abuse of Power
Michael Dickinson
Police Guns of Brixton: Another Unarmed Black Shot by London Cops
Ron Jacobs
Daydream Sunset: a Playlist
Charles R. Larson
The Beginning of the Poppy Wars: Amitav Ghosh’s “Flood of Fire”
David Yearsley
A Rising Star Over a Dark Forest
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman