Contents
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Philip Hackett, US
 

 

 

Free Verse

 

Suffer The Children To Play

 

Whoever thought they'd be sleeping in gutters
                                   In America?
     In the doorways? On park benches? In the bushes? The deserts?
Sleeping in their own excrement, their own urine, on boxes from Safeway
                                   over sidewalk grates
In the snow, the rain.
     No jobs, broken families, many let out of the asylum, the prisons.
Many returning from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
     All civil wars, not our own.
                                   Many finding refuge
                 in drunken stupor, and/or drugged filled veins.
A lot of them single mothers.
A lot of them runaway fathers.
A lot of them our children.
                  None with proper housing, adequate clothing, malnourished.
     Education, medical insurance, a stipend luxuries for these
unfortunates
                                                      luxuries unobtainable.
                                                                    Some
                                                                      of us
           would have "them" tattooed, like those of another time not long
ago.
                                                              "Scapegoats".
               Would Jesus bomb anyone? Did the nuns teach us this? NO!
                            The Mothers of Mercy would have none of this.
Nor would any of our fallen heroes.
                                                                              Beware!
                                                                              Be kind!
                                                                           Linger a bit
                                              Look into their eyes, at their feet.
                                                  Look at their stockingless feet.
                                  Lonely, weary, their hearts beating with hope.
                                                                        Hope.

                    America!

 

 

Without Chop Sticks

 

we walk to yee's on grant for dinner
steve, steve and i
you order mixed veggies
over white rice with a gallon of soy sauce
i, i have pork & shrimp
over white rice with a little soy sauce
sam orders pork & duck
over white rice with as much soy sauce as steve & steve
we make friends right away
with my man on & dough jay & shay shay
ging hay fat choy & sunny fy low
and joy ging
another time it would be sam wo's
and woey loy goey on Jackson & washington
not far from portsmouth square & the dragon bar
where we'd read our poetry in the early 60s
the chinese are ready to celebrate their 5,000 new years celebrations
this year it's the year of the hare
i was born in the year of the snake
they have a meaning for the snake - all true
i had a hair cut at may lai's saloon on waverly
only 5 bucks
hell, we could have gone to the double dragon
i remember my first studio when i first came to frisco
hogan & vest rented it to me for 100 bucks a month sergio & i roomed
together
only 50 bucks each a month
then i discvered the bed & breakfast hotels
three squares a day only 80 bucks a month
two billion in china
three hundred million here

 

 

Beneath The Sweltering Sun

 

the sand seems endless
as i hike dune after dune
it's like the snowdrifts
i trudged through as a young boy
through the new england forests
but instead of the freezing cold white & wet
there was the sweltering sun beige & dry
it was truly like being clothed in a sauna
the sweat flowed down my head & neck
down the nape of my neck & shoulders
between the crack of my ass
to my feet and soaking my birkenstock sandals
cool at night under the full moon
the shooting stars
of death valley and the mojave desert
cool from the great river winding
from the north
through the sage & bamboo & black ironwood
and remnants left on the desert floor
rusted beer cans and model t fords
i'm sunburnt and delerious
delerious over you

 

 

Gentle People

 

Plum blossoms giving way
Soon cherry blossoms
Colorful floating down to earth
Remembering
All those fallen
Broken hearts, spirits, crying
Thankful
For all the Great Spirit gives
From his bounty full
Thankful but perplexed for three times
Four times and more now
The gentle people of Japan

 

 

Gaman

 

They showed Gaman
They endured
They were patient
They were tolerant
They were dignified
The Japanese people always showed Gaman
In the face of adversity
They did it for themselves and their Emperor
They showed it after Hiroshima & Nagasaki
During the 9.0 and the Tsunami
They show it during their infrequent divorces
Familia & nation
To all others
They are a good example
Of compassion
Of humanity
Of Love

 

 

Tears of Joy

 

no sound
but my whispering
in your ear
that i love you
finally, our son is born
on 4 25 87
at 4 42 a.m.
8 lbs & 14 ozs
20 inches
you're sedated
the doctors
hand our son
to me

 

 

The Mission

for Joana

 

our fare was the usual
for a sunday morning
coffee at philz
breakfast at roosevelts
huevos rancheros
it was cold but fair
the sun was breaking
so cold it snowed in sacramento
on mount tam and diablo
it could have been a white carpet
at the oscars and stars
in hollywood
i'm betting on the winners
and i won an extra taco
i usually win
and there are never takers
should go to reno or vegas
it's always sunny in the mission
and this morning
in roosevelt's
on the smiling face
the beautiful face
of Joana

 

 

On Rue Royal

 

In the French Quarter
I dreamed of meeting you
in Tel Aviv or Jaffa
years later
you knocked on my heart
and we both smiled
and laughed

 

 

West of Boston

 

i don't play the guitar
i don't write lyrics to songs
i write poetry
and i'm an american poet
google me philip hackett poet
i'm an american
i served in the cavalry
as a young boy from boston
i played in our backyard
with plastic soldiers and indians
i was protected by wooden forts
i hopped a box cart
and came west in the sixties
to san francisco
and worked with the indians
& cowboys in the largest county
a place called toiyabe
i rode the highways
up and down
north & south
east & west
my hair was long
and my beard was full
i liked riding
my honda 350 motorcycle
in the nude
covered with aloe vera
i hand-picked from cacti
oh, the sweetness of the desert
the sage
oh, the blackwood burning
keeping me warm at my campsite
i rode everywhere
north on 6
and west on 6
to bodie and to the hot creeks
lost money in the casinos in walker
& won money in topaz
got married in tonopah
and divorced in mojave
rode to area 51
and scarily rod to l.a.
not a good idea

 

 

Free Verse

 

For Daniella

 

is exhausting in her eloquence
and probably with my aries-like pursuit
of her attention and her smile
she is tall and dark and beautiful
no doubt irish
all the guys at the italian caffe
in north beach
were intimidated by her beauty
her walk, her grace and her style
but no i, not the king of poetry
no, he knows a muse when he sees one
and pursued her readily
took her photo a couple of times
of course with her permission
and now the king of poetry
writes this poem
only because of her inspiration

 

 

Tanka

 

leafless tree stands tall
it's spider webbing the sky
promises of spring
hibernating new green buds
impatiently awaiting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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