Death, Yossarian and Me


It was love at first sight…

when I poured that first cup
of molten ebony at early light;
I often wonder why I am up.

Through the kitchen blind

blue vapor above the surface
of the water –
ghosts of the gentlest ilk.
I lift the teaspoon from its place.
Raw sugar first; then milk.

Brown convection, then tan;
a thunderstorm a-brew.
Write a few lines if I can.
Then upstairs with a cup for you.

First the colours.

Then the humans.

That’s how I usually see things.


* * *

Posted at dVerse Poets Pub for Meeting the Bar.  Tonight we are asked to crib a line apiece from two separate literary works, making one our starting line and the other our end line.  My start line is the first line from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  My end lines are the first three lines of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  The first book explains so much of life that it has been my traveling companion for many years.  The latter book… well, if you haven’t read it….

35 thoughts on “Death, Yossarian and Me

  1. …and you chose the opening lines of these two books! Excellent! I love how your poem describes the colors in detail and then goes to that great Zusak line. This is drenched in imagery, but best of all is that title! That title! Your poetic voice comes through, Charley, and gets tighter with the passing of time.


  2. There is this package of truth, Charley, and that is that our senses may fool us. We should not identify with actual experience, as if we were animals. The way we take it is not who we are. Get along.


  3. Two brilliant books, two excellent quotes, and my favourite poem so far – from the ‘first cup of molten ebony at early light’, through the ‘blue vapor above the surface of the water and ‘thunderstorm a-brew’ – I love it!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad my poem brought all that to mind. I think poetry should not talk, but touch the places where words become impulses rather than mere means of bearing information.


  4. Oh, goodness, Charley…the title befuddles me but I love this poem and the quotes you chose. I think it’s a warm watercolor painting; soft beginning of day.


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