Though Dick Eastman does not think of himself as primarily a poet, he admires poetry for its beauty of sound and intensity of meaning. Some threescore poems came from his pen. Here are samples.
We spend too much time walking to the well,
Too many steps in climbing to the view.
Since our buckets leak, since our legs give way,
We ought to live by the water;
We ought to stay on the hill.
Beware those tiny beauties
Which flash beneath
The flood with lightning teeth
Upon your flesh a swarm
Of small duties.
Let us praise the tillers of barren soil
Teachers of inept students
Writers buried by rejection slips
Dancers with thick ankles
Reformers of apathetic communities
Peacemakers for deadly foes
Scientists butting the unknowable
Ministers of complacent congregations
Nurses of death-wracked patients
Mothers of breaking homes
Let us praise
Whoever pours the heart's blood
Into the thirsty cracks of human failure
Whether in radiant or dignified despair
Such toilers teach us to guess
What it is like these days to be
PROMETHEUS, PH. D.
Chained to my bed by the small hours
I stare at the neat familiar vultures as they
Like connoisseurs of anxiety
Fastidiously nibble at my nerves.
What fire, in my discreet days, could I
possibly have given to whom?
What Zeus could I deserve to displease?
AN OLD MAN'S SERENADE
Not through roses do I come
Nor lilacs, lilies, peonies or poppies;
I come through frozen glades
And thickets laced with frost.
This air I breathe is neither soft nor balmy
But crisp and stinging.
Still I come with my ancient guitar
With its broken string
To sing with cracking tune
To you I love.You--no pristine beauty
But finer, much, whose loving life
Has lined your face with loveliness,
Whose happy humming at your daily tasks
I'll bravely try to match,
Knowing you will hear my truest voice
The joy of having lived beside you.
Copyright © 2005-2009 by Richard M. Eastman. All rights reserved.