Ashes to Ashes


Radiation in my beggar’s

Bones all lit up

By a lantern flame

Flickering like a firefly

In a canning jar.

I stand around the ash can

To warm my hands.

Sipping bitter coffee

Wearing just rags and flannels

Knees buckle and shiver

I wait for the hand with my

Next toxic cocktail.

All of the elixirs and,

I believe only in dreams of god

To help with integrity

I never owned.

Defining words like Fractionated

Permanence steals from what’s

Life. Starring in a propaganda

Film – short and to the point

Before the feature film

Memory creates fiction

All lies and deceptions of the mind.

Unable to complete

The prescribed treatments

Back to the spine in a row

And leave me disavowed

I never knew such exhaustion existed.

Offers of investigational higher dosage

Yet a higher risk and I fail to rise again

No Lazarus, I slump over

And crumple at the criteria.

Unfit for the clinic’s best trial,

Not willing to take a risk

On someone so vile as I might slip a disc.

Instead another tour

Of the war on cancer I return

Where even crimes can

Get you paid for shooting

A stranger at zero point range.

There’s the evidence flashing

In black and white 8mm frames

Japanese made everything then

Including the front page

Words unkind to places like Nagasaki and Okinawa.

What’s a Bikini atoll?

Where did the White Sands desert observers

All turned inside out

Children now dying of cancer

All those mutations

Years after the negatives

So dissolved like the bones

And the hair and the

Groans of despair.

Where in he darkness

The clouds reigned supreme.

Is this only a stomach ache

Does my pounding head

Mean anything to the first

Boys running away from their pictures

What kind of photographer

Can believe in a science

Once used to capture our nature

Now looking for snowballs

Melted in hell.

No scarring and burning

It’s deep and linear accelerated radiation.

But upon waking up from

A dream I scream

Silently as the fallout

Covers statues with

Dirty ash.

My foggy thoughts

of wakefulness

Interrupted by exhaustion

Drops me inside a bad dream

Where my beggar’s bones

Standing around the ashcan

Dissolve like snow in rain

But isn’t that where

Where all of we, the incinerated go?

3 comments on “Ashes to Ashes”

  1. We all strive. To say that turning from my paltry poetry prior to my diagnosis may be a stretch but truthfully it’s a rich subject filling notebooks and one I’d give back along with my improved work. Thank you for reading and for following!
    Your friend,

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