It's time to grow up and start seeing the world the way it really is and not the way we want it to be.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the ghosts of these dark hills

the ghosts of these dark hills


if i could see the flowers growing as van gogh once saw flowers grow
then these poems would twist and writhe upon the page in torment slow
splash and swirl with yellow passion, hock and spit a madman’s green
vomit blues and blacks across the night in a sky stark and obscene
but my eyes are forced to faces and catch the bend of breaking backs
as black and bitter coal comes crushing down on souls in shacks

if i could hear the voice of war come floating down throughout the years
as once made forever living by beethoven’s dying ears
then these poems would ache with steel come screeching down from scarlet sky
and tremble with the clatter of the body carts piled high
but the gunfire on blair mountain is all i hear above the din
the scream of mortality realized from the mouths of murdered men

if i could feel the gulf stream churning ‘neath the thin hull of my boat
catch the sun on marlin burning as hemingway once wrote
then these poems would clip and clatter with precise, staccato prose
and when i’m old and fatter i’d trip the trigger with my toes
but it’s the feel of my forefather’s flesh wearing my skin like a glove

that defines me and reminds me what my soul’s shroud is made of

these poems are of my body, the rhymes my rhyming limbs
the meter is the beating of my blood through ink stained veins
i chortle and i chuckle, i grumble and i roar
i throw myself at heaven and i fall back on the floor
i have nothing left of charming words or pretty paint and pleasing sound
nothing but the ghosts of these dark hills who await me in the ground





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I am from West Virginia. Born in New Martinsville to a minister's family. Traveled around West Virginia and Southern Ohio growing up. The only stability I got was from my mother's side of the family in Boone County. My Great Grandfather on my father's side was preaching in Madison during the Mine Wars. He ran for the state legislature on a pro-union ticket and won only to have the coal companies tie the results up in court so he ended serving only one day out of this term. My Grandfather on my mother's side stood with the miner's at Blair Mountain and died of Black Lung when I was still in my teens. I was raised a Conservative Christian...not a Fundamentalist. Strict separation of church and state based on the understanding that what makes for a good politician is pretty much the opposite of what makes a good Christian. I'm politically radical in that I believe in one man/one vote and the only way to have political equality is to have economic equality. I'm an atheist because once I accepted the fact of my own mortality I found no need for belief in God.