living poetry

American Vultures (Karen Thompson)

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#108

The circus train cars abandoned decades ago,
The circuit of America now belongs to vultures,
Who once followed the elephants and clowns
Like starved, yearning runaways, an exiled sideshow.
Now, as then, they only eat the unclean, if pure,
Scraps of disease or murder on the edge of town.
It exasperates them, winging round and round,
With only frowning little girls and unplanted
Trees, shrubs, and ancient sawdust on the ground.
We know that of all fowl we’re the most unwanted,
But those tiny birdbaths are simply insulting.
Tattered flesh, the strength of decay, our putrid breath –
From a vulture’s field of view nothing can be revolting.
We soar, bubbles of gold, spiraling death.

Note: This is one of more than 115 poems after paintings or images, which can be viewed at the blog, Zealotry of Guerin.

Christopher Guerin is the author of two books each of poetry and short fiction, a novel, and more than a dozen children’s books. If he hadn’t spent 26 years as an arts administrator, including 20 years as President of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, perhaps he’d have worked a little harder getting them published. His consolation resides in his fiction and poems having been published in numerous small magazines, including Rosebud, AURA, Williams and Mary Review, Midwest Quarterly, Wittenberg Review, RE: Artes Liberales, DEROS, Wind, and Wind less Orchard. His blog, Zealotry of Guerin, features his fiction and poetry, including his sonnet sequence of poems after paintings, “Brushwork." He is the V.P. of Corporate Communications at Sweetwater Sound, Inc., the national music instrument retailer.

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