Monday, July 01, 2002

Rick Parsons

Rituals of Death and Devotion

The Inca iced
their dead into mummies.

In India loved ones burned bodies
at a ghat, scattered ashes
into the sacred river.

On the Solomon Islands
they laid out their dead on reefs
for sharks to feast.

Mäoris wore wreathes of green leaves,
chanted, cried out and cut themselves,
covered bones in red earth.

In Mexico, families celebrated
dia de los muertos, sat at graves,
set an empty place at the table.

Within our home, I placed a kiss
on your forehead. My tears trickled
like a holy water baptism, lips
murmured words of mourning.

Two poems and a card,
laid under your arm,
embodied the spirit of my love
to mix and rise with yours
in smoke from the flame.

Today I hold your ashes,
touch the urn
the way I used to touch your face,
and believe like Buddhists
in the cycle of rebirth.

On Route 32, the Dance Floor Bus

Yesterday, he was the comb-over king,
a sad jazz ramble of jibber-jabber facts.

Tonight, he is hushed anticipation,
an unknown destination,

a step,
a dance,
a pirouette;

look at his eyes,
the way he jives when he moves.

Rick Parsons: I am a veterinary technician living in Phoenix, AZ. I have suffered from depression and anxiety/panic attacks, but control both fairly well with medication. My home is shared with six cats whose souls are to mine as child is to mother. For me, writing poetry is the "ow, what'd ya do that for?" that is blurted out after being smacked in the back of the head by my muse's hand.

Joe Hackworth Bruce Stater Rick Parsons Jerry Hicks Colin Van der Woude Shaela Phillips Martin Rutley K. R. Copeland Jack Cannon Dave Ruslander

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