Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meat of the Day

I leave before dawn. In Trenton, unsung black men
wait en masse at the bus stop, seeking payment
for lives cut adrift on a sea of abashed pride.

The dawn of account breaks into shards the ennui,
news lines pieced together into columns that retail sin,
whose voice cries, forlorn and lost above the skyline.

When you triangulate the gaps that link the business
day, don't forget the signs of yes/no,
stimulus/response, plenum/void, --.--.

What shall I lay on the altar cloth to bless the day?
Coffee, words, dreams unfolding to flow
Into streams far away. Like shadows at noon,
we walk in darkness. The concrete has teeth,
and the cracks cry with lost tongues.

Leaving, dusk orange horizon opens its door to joy
that all deny no matter how much
we want it. Snow pelts the windshield. In snow,
you can sleep until sun rises to melt from red leaves
dreams and moments never to return.

Let's find our way thru the ice and rain.
Untrod path thru woods of doubt, distrust
and heart's deceit. Jupiter gyres heaven with fire,
dry leaves crunching underfoot:
memory of me when gone.

Trees know no time but what time traces
in cycles and gyres graphed by the full and the empty.
Birth and death, marriage and divorce,
planting and harvest, these carve our lives
into the meat of the day.

(c) Copyright 2011 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.


  1. A beautiful narrative poem with some sad, yet true, gut punching visuals...The opening with the black men, their abashed pride; the closing of marriage, divorce, birth, the things that give meat to life. Powerful imagry, thought provoking. A really beautiful work! Cheers!

  2. Your writing style is very unique and gripping. I enjoyed this poem very much. It is a strong piece.

  3. hey charles, enjoyed your poem...the burden of everyday life..unsung black men wait en masse at the bus stop..sometimes not easy to find the way through ice and rain..ugh...trying hard myself at times and sometimes one seems to get eaten up by the daytime job..luckily i'm spending some days at the beach - off work-off responsibilities...good to breathe again..
    ...the cracks cry with lost tongues...awesome image and nice to meet you

  4. "The concrete has teeth,
    and the cracks cry with lost tongues." Great line, and also "these carve our lives
    into the meat of the day."
    Very nice, powerful imagery in this piece.

  5. nice....really enjoy this and all the textures..the concrete cracks lost tongues...def feel the flow through out this...what will i put on the altar, all i got is my words and you used yours well...

  6. Brilliant imagery here--just blinding. Your language is musical and vivid, precise and succinct, all the virtues I can catalog, and still not get to the heart of why this works so well--that lies in the unspoken. Fine fine poem.

  7. Very impressive. Imagery is outstanding as others have already mentioned

  8. You've incorporated so many sensory details here: texture, color, sound. I especially like the line "What shall I lay upon the altar to bless the day" and then go on to consecrate the mundane. Brilliant. Victoria

  9. The imagery flows with every line, wonderful verse.

  10. Hi Charles Miller

    A great imagery you have shared with us. I enjoyed it so much... Lovely.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya

  11. Who writes about the ding dong work day that we endure en route to the next poem? Wonderful to see you do, and with such clarity of heart. It's Ceasar's world in which we earn our meat; you carve it so well. - Brendan