In the Shadow of The Shiloh

(to Tony D.)

 

I sailed on The Shiloh

To the Persian Gulf.

Now, in the shadow of The Shilo,

I see myself;

A retrospective view

Of where I stood on watch,

Leaning into the surf

Watching a distant horizon

Bringing me back

To where I stand today;

On a different watch

My future self,

Arising like a golden dawn,

Shedding the past

In the shadow of The Shiloh

 

Ted Goodell

1994

 

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Joe Six Pack

 

I have seen “Joe Six Pack”

Scratching his crotch

Yawning and stretching

In yesterdays socks

His large intrepid form

Still in its adolescent bulk

Hungers for beer in its six-pack shape

While his pals parade their latest jokes

And breathe their stale remarks

About some “lousy bitch”

Who wrenched them from their stench of sleep

And mocked their bitter indolence

With all a woman’s strength could reach,

And after all her pride is spent,

Emptied by his endless lust,

She sheds what’s left

Of all her dreams

And spills her crystal tears

Upon his unwashed face

 

Ted Goodell

October 4, 2008

Exercise

 

Is exercise a fiction

Fraught with fear

The open grave

Of yesteryear

That never knew

Of grace or health

But gave us

Secret bones

And grinning jowls

The scowling grunts

Of ape-like men

Pushed to oblivion

Their muscles

Strained in mud and stone

No thought of Life

No joy to shelter

All their strength

From pain

 

Ted Goodell

July 14, 2006

Christ’s Buckle

 

Christ wore his buckle

On the other side

It was the center

Of his strength

He gripped its full

Metal girth

Between both thumbs

Like an American cowboy

He made the

Prairie Palestine

His home

And all his prayers

Brought butterflies

To his fragile flame

 

Ted Goodell

1975

The Spider

 

I caught a spider

In a cup

It resonated fear

It knew my home

Was not a church

No sanctuary lost

Between its world

Of web and fang

But something alien

To touch

A surface inaccessible

To stealth and sting

Now in captivity

The agile acrobat

Dreams of a god with wings

 

Ted Goodell

2007

It’s About Time

 

Time never wastes a minute

You cannot find time

Hiding in the dark

Or making promises

It cannot keep

Not even when the world

Is reeling from the rain

Or whirling in the wind

Time never fears the flames

For time can even

Make the sun look small

And turn the Earth

Into a spinning ball

And finally

Put each book away

Even if a page is torn

 

Ted Goodell

December 12, 2014

 

In Memory of Michael Brown

 

In Ferguson Missouri

The memory of Michael Brown will not retreat

For those of us who watched that street

We cannot know how far his name will reach

If what we know can ever end this breach

We who were there must face this dread

And send to all the boys who fled

Our upraised hands and lowered heads

To mourn those black disciples who are dead

 

Ted Goodell

November 29, 2014