Saturday 14 August 2021

Three Poems by Tim Heerdink


Algorithm for a Lost Thought

Add 1 pinch of existential terror,
multiply it by your short comings.

Find the ex who distorted your brain,
pat the regenerated earth, & walk away.

Just playing around;
she’s probably walking somewhere
above ground.

Divide yourself too many times
until you get close to that zero.

You can’t be everywhere
& nowhere
in the same instance.

So, subtract yourself
from this word problem,
because there’s more to life
worth solving.

Some People Walk into Walls

Some people walk into walls
without grace or purpose,

& if you allow them to,
they’ll stand there all day.

See, many can’t comprehend
these barriers that surround them,

always focused on the device
instead of clearing a path.

A generation of crooked noses
from collisions with structures

who hold no such forgiveness
as they are only doing a job.

Walking Art Exhibit

Let me undress
& show you my gallery.

I’m a walking art exhibit
making my path
toward another stop.

Look here,
a Christian cross
on my left arm;
it’s lost its luster.

failing to keep
terrors from haunting
my nightly nightmares
dangles on my right blade.

Back right calf
sits a good pups,
such a good pups,
gone like all dogs
before any of us
are ready to let go.

Ghostly print of an ex
etched with UV ink
bound to give me cancer
forever covered up
by an anatomical heart
& my love’s name
remains left on my chest.

Apocalyptic rapture
with the hand of God
summoning all believers
to come home at sky’s mansion
in beautiful black & gray detail;
I wish I had faith in this imagery
like I did all those years ago
before doubt caused me to fall.

Gathered on my left
to celebrate a beautiful
Saturday June afternoon
are my late grandmother & bride
with me sandwiched in between
hiding Grandma’s hospital gown
in the late hours after midnight;
we brought the party to her.

An overdue bouquet
for the ones I’ve lost
& continue to lose
as I creep toward
my own inevitable step
into the great unknown
with these roses & lilies
bound in violet ribbon
holding rings for my babies.

By the time you finish
this continuous living poem,
I’ll have added another portrait
among these tattoos on my skin
I collect to remember a story
& times when I was happy
like when Mom celebrated
the marriage of her first son
a year before she was taken
& left us with this visiting cardinal.

Tim Heerdink is the author of Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well, The Human Remains, Red Flag and Other Poems, Razed Monuments, Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Sailing the Edge of Time, I Hear a Siren’s Call, Ghost Map, A Cacophony of Birds in the House of Dread, and short stories, The Tithing of Man and HEA-VEN2. His poems appear in various journals and anthologies. He is the President of Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville, Indiana.

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