The city’s gone quiet.
A crow is nailed to the door of the cathedral.
A trumpet lay dead
among turnips and sparrowhawks.
The city’s gone quiet.
No longer can the love-arrows
remember the tango
dancers along the Spree.
Sombre obsequies aggrieve the bed-springs.
The Pierides has frozen over.
The elderly Turkish ladies
have taken cover under seaweed
and Venetian lace.
And the pigeons keep vanishing.
And the poor keep appearing.
And the moon’s tangled up in a fisherman’s net.
And the city’s gone quiet.
An accordion lay dead
among hubcaps and butterflies.
I’ve probably spent too much time
sitting here and looking
through the window at things
things that were never too far away
all I would’ve had to do
was get up from my chair and
in order to touch them
feel them with my own hands
instead of just sitting here and
imagining what they felt like and
I still have time
it’s not too late
in the city
of New London
in my heart
warms my back
and drop shadows
at my feet
bicyclists and cars
dogs in the street
blows its horn
like a thousand angels
the streets are alive
and so am I
They want us to obey, you to obey, me to obey,
all to obey them, like children, asking no questions.
The very word has a sinister hollow sound:
Pronounce it loudly: obey. Repeat: obey.
Can you feel it? Obey!
Dog is not man’s best friend without any reason.
My only hope is in those I did not like earlier.
The face maniacs. Those who record themselves
in yogic mudras doing asanas to post on facebook
for an instant wow. I love them now.
They show me the glowing fire from dying embers.
They do not resist on principle. They resist by habit.
They are not Satan or other fallen angels.
It’s human to rebel without reason or purpose.
For what is rebellion but a different perspective
there were only two voices
i could believe
yours or the woman glancing at me through
the looking glass,
and both terrified me;
they both promised me pain—
yet the woman seemed kinder for she did
not tell me that i was a monster
or i deserved this pain
she simply said
i had to shed this moment like snakeskin,
and that i would always be beautiful
no matter how much i was suffering;
i was almost afraid that it were a lie because
you seemed too good to be true too—
she was patient
as i struggled with the reality you gave me
where everything was my fault and i broke my own heart
and i was some monster that you just
couldn’t bring yourself to love,
but one day i realized that she was right and this wasn’t
the end of me;
i had to forget winter if i were every to have spring
so i took her hand—
pulling me through the looking glass
but remaining where you left me would have been worse
growth was necessary.
When did poems stop rhyming
Now poems are a long laundry list of words
Some totally unrelated
Bouncing all over the page
Hard to follow
Harder to understand
Using unspeakable words
They make you question reality
Vague punctuated thoughts
Thrown against a wall
Spattered like paint
Dripping down in some abstract form
No more pastoral images
Only cold hard ideas
Laid out before us
Like a raw slab of meat
On a cold table
A sacrificial altar
Gone are the lyrical meters of a bygone era
Gone are all the pretty little poems
Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware. She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer. She loves gardening, the ocean, and her cats. Her poems have been published in poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies.