Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Poetry by Robert Demaree



What must it sound like,
The idiom of our tongue,
If you have come from other shores:
Listening to tapes
In classrooms below ground,
Beads of dampness on cold cinderblock,
Trying to apprehend small meanings
(Preposterous proposition):
Run in, run over, run down;
Dress down, dress out, dress up.
Would it be the same
For someone to come on to you,
Or come out?


Language, quixotic, carries weight
It cannot bear.
A boy spent hours in practice—
Tennis, piano scales, free throws.
Later he practiced medicine,
His sister practiced law,
Always getting ready, it seemed,
For something else.
At the restaurant
He thought of a bad pun
And made a note:
He also waits who only stands and serves.


Language tells you what it sees,
So pejorative becomes
I want to hear about people
Who are ept, couth,
Ruthful, clueful souls with
Shevelled hair.
Do you remember when we
Worried about creeping -ism’s?
An ancient word, meant to
Mock the sound of
Those who do not talk like you.

- Robert Demaree 2012

Robert Demaree, a retired educator, is the author of four collections of poems, including Mileposts (2009), published by Beech River Books. He has had over 550 poems published in 125 periodicals. He lives in Wolfeboro, N.H., and Burlington, N.C.

1 comment:

Phillip A. Ellis said...

I've been enjoying what I've found of Robert's poetry online, but rarely have the guts to come out and say so. The work has a certain quality to it, like a quality of light in an Old Master's oils, that informs the language and that underlies the imagery.