Ein Heldenleben

His mind ignored the laws of recognition.
He chose, instead, to love the long renown
That hid in his work. The predator ambition
He left to politics–the mayors of the town
Were voted in and out, the governor’s mansion
Turned, the great house on the coast changed hands,
Grey enterprise went on with its expansion
As the dandelion gone to seed expands,
And still he held the office of his soul
As one the lordly galaxies elect
To voice their vastness in the public poll
And keep the struggling human form erect.
He brought to the commons floor a celestial motion,
Drew from all faiths to soothe our burning plod,
But Balm of Gilead was his particular lotion
Healing the feet of those who walk unshod.
He stood back from his darkened planet like a star
And yet was intimate with field and folk.
Sober as Latin, yet in the vernacular
He could explode deep laughter with a joke.
As the Irish mark a line’s progenitor,
Time set a “the” before his final name.
Among the things that die, this is as far
As one may go toward knowing God’s last name.

–December 2, 1998

(“Ein Heldenleben” was published in the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of The Raintown Review, Pittsboro IN.) 

Published on October 20, 2006 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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