Wednesday 14 June 2023

Five Poems by Robert Witmer


Placebo Domino in regione vivorum


Darkness breathes in evening’s ear

as Bacchus spills his red placebo

over the western sky


A moonlit skull grins through the window

a breeze blows by the sleeping child

memento mori, danse macabre


The seashell smoothed to a gleam in time

pink music plays past golden curls

pillowed in a dream


Patterns tracing phantoms of immortality

slipping through the hourglass where Kairos shapes

a picture of our broken shields

reflected by the sea



A Snapshot of Our Times


end game

the last rook

in a blighted tree




a faceless clock


a heavy tool

in a dark garage

talk radio


her favourite singer

thumbtacked to a rat-filled wall

she does it my way


nibbling her ear

at the gravesite

necrophiliac cannibal



weaponized wood

saw dust


cute little monkeys

in a cage at the zoo

morphine to ease the pain


snowflakes fall

below the bridge

the railing much too low



to the aging hippie

I dig man



Cast Out


A red sun glazes

the ancient hero's bronze

green eyes,

casting a penumbra

round the drunk,

who slumps in the shadow

of an equestrian bum

and sips his Beaujolais.



Little Boy Blue


sunlight in the dust

the smell of the barn

she looks up

the cow’s bulging udder

the boy’s bulging eyes



Unto Zophos Descends the King of Byblos


An agony of rapture

In the death flames to the west

The self-consuming sun

In purple robes

Is laid to rest.



Robert Witmer has lived in Japan for the past 45 years. Now an emeritus professor, he has had the opportunity to teach courses in poetry and creative writing not only at his home university in Tokyo but also in India. His poems and prose poetry have appeared in many print and online journals and books. His first book of poetry, a collection of haiku titled Finding a Way, was published in 2016. A second book of poetry, titled Serendipity, was published earlier this year (2023).

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