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My Mercy and Grace MAG
Dead (After Lowell)
In a gray corner of upper northwest
The mute circular headstones stand
In the old cemetery of the dead
of Fort Stevens
The decayed, rotted, fishbone ribcages
Nourishing bricked over soil
As the sentries, too faithful by decades
Still guard the road to the filled marsh
Where the glass temple dedicated to
Transcience, celebrity, ruin and madness
Stands, on the other side of Penn,
The great parade ground of the republic
From Pope’s mausoleum, where rests,
Orphaned in history, St. Gauden’s plaster
Nearby the pond stagnates
And overgrown tourists feed overgrown goldfish
Who eat, ****, fin and expire
Under the watchful eye of the bronze
Grant, rising upon his marble bubble
by Douglas Graebner, Bethesda, MD
To the Still Clock on My Wall
Trees, tall, slim, crowded in some places
In front of you.
Wander blind into the thickets
Trails become fuzzy thoughts.
Were they ever there?
No, I don’t think so.
Ticks cling to your pants.
You’re their hopes,
Their very reason for existence.
Though you may not know they’re there
Until some time after.
Ah, and now you’re lost.
No one for help.
No sun to see.
Tall, slim, and crowded in some places.
And the ticks,
Who are still ascending your legs.
The water from the lakes and streams
could easily ruin your stomach.
Drink the water.
Drink the water, and you’ll know for days,
What slithered down your throat.
Agonizing cramps will refuse to leave
You’ll know your mistake.
The air is stale.
Where do you go?
You’re lost, remember?
The wind shifts,
You see trees and then smoke.
Still no one for help.
Still no sun for light.
A sharp pain from your stomach.
The ticks are now latched tightly to your skin
With their heads nestled.
by Chalmus Davenport, Humboldt, TN
My Mercy and Grace
When the world drowns you out
And you blend into the chaos
When who you used to be
Is buried under the rubble of confusion
I will hold you close
And never let you fall
Your greatest fears will disappear
And only love will remain
I will cast your worries to the ends of the earth
And relinquish the grasp
Of the world’s chains from around your wrists
You are no longer a slave
No longer a servant
But rather free in my arms
Free in who I am
Let my love rush over you
In a cascade of comfort
Washing away your anxiety
And easing your strife
Erase all your memories of terror
The repeat of lies that have been ingrained in your being
I will etch out
And fill the gaping holes with my mercy and grace