Poet Lost – A Found Poem

We have lost a poet, a friend. Viv Blake, known to most as Viv In France, was a regular at many of the online Poetry forums. She was a regular contributor of fine poetry, and a dedicated reader of other poets work. She was one of the first to follow me here, and if I look at my stats page she sits at the top as my most frequent commenters, by a large margin. Always polite, always encouraging, forever finding a positive thing to say, even when it was clear she was less than enthused. She was also my most dedicated proofreader, making sure any mistake I made did not linger and cause me embarrassment.

I did not know her well enough to write anything for her, or about her, but there are pages upon pages in my comments with her name attached. I have created a found poem of her words. The following consists only of comments she has left on my work, and I think there is a kernel of her there. I hope she would find it worthy of stopping by. Goodbye Viv, you will be missed.

In Viv’s Words

Your memories make a sublime poem,
I just wish it wasn’t so real.

I know that feeling. Halfway between awe and shivering.

I like all your shelves of books and photos – we seekers need them to feed us.
I love this one.
This one brought a lump to my throat –
not a word wasted.
A story which is greater than the few words which contain it,
Poignant but beautiful. No regrets,
not a word wasted,
we mustn’t let those memories disappear.
I thank God that there are still books to be read.

I share your despair
at this unfair world.
I can only ask: Where
will it end?
Keep your chin up.

I would weep for a fallen oak,
loving and calm,
waiting for warmth, for renaissance,
to start living again.
When the cherry blossom falls in April,
I experience a similar lightening of spirit.
There are enough problems in this life
without spoiling the pleasures with guilt.
So glad I don’t live in a city!

Sad to say, this is profoundly true,
I can’t pretend that I care what happens to my ashes,
but the children assure us that it matters to them.
A sad truth, your last line will stay with me.

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July 4, 2016

Expressed in ​American Sentences

Independent no more, the freedoms of our founding are forsaken.

Celebrating with no respect for meaning; the fireworks are nice though. 

Politicians speak of greatness, tomorrow they will trample freedom.

Our President the globalist, no evidence of national pride.

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No Answer

I called you,
you did not answer.
I texted shortly after,
you did not reply.
I tried again every 30 minutes
or so,
texted again in between.
Your phone is always on,
never leaves your side,
you usually pick up,
or call right back,
you usually reply
before I text twice.
But you didn’t,
answer, call back, or reply.
I kept calling,
kept waiting,
kept hoping.
I called every thirty minutes,
texting in between,
until somebody else answered.

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At Some Point

At
some point
we will start
to believe our
souls and weary eyes,
only then shall we trust
decisions we make in haste,
and truly depend on the heart,
faith, at last, standing up to reason.

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Do Not Speak For Me

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Ink spills, sweat pours,
the brown, delta waters flow.
A man in a white robe
spews ancient hate from the land
of my forebears.
Another in a Baltimore,
with raised fist,
shouts more of the same in opposite.
Neither speak for me.

Oil dilutes the water,
black gold drives the economy,
holds sway over policy.
The executive orders, the roughneck drills,
wheels turn.
I do not blame them for exploiting
needs/wants/desires but
slick liquids and slick suits do not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Blood oozes from the wound,
the gutters of Chicago congeal.
Mothers cry,
a plastic talking head blames a tool,
refuses to address a cause.
More useless laws, freedom suppressed,
the fist clenches tighter,
death seeps out between the fingers.
The titillated teeth on TV do not speak for me.

A man behind a pulpit
preaches out of context morality,
teaches exclusion, judgment
and damnation. He seems to forget
love and healing and caring.
He raises his voice and pounds the podium,
claims he speaks for God,
but he does not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

The politicians are already drunk
on their potential power,
convinced of the absolute necessity
of their convictions, their change, their control.
They take up the mantle of left and right,
claim righteous titles of conservative, progressive;
none of them speak for me.

You. You do not speak for me,
nor do I for you,
But, I hear you. I hear your plea
for simple understanding,
empathy perhaps, peace perchance.
Do you hear me my brother?
For I swear,
I swear I am trying to hear you.
I am trying.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

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Flags In

A re-post from last year, but always appropriate…

Awakened Words

Each stone is cleaned to as white
as the passage of time allows.

Each flag is precisely placed,
a soldier’s boot the measurement.

Each fallen hero receives a salute
from one who understands.

Each Old Guard member considers
participation an honor, not a task.

Each year more tears irrigate
the fields of Arlington.

Each year more flags are needed
than the years before.

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Debts

A debt called family —
of family,
from family,
because of family

which cannot be repaid —

not by intent
but only of means

but reasons…

reasons are irrelevant,
cannot be reconciled,

nor explained

to the children
of the child.

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