Poems and Poetry

history poems

Eating History | A Poem by J.K. Durick

History 101 filled in the blanks, simpled us
a true or false, cooked up an essay or two

passed us whole platefuls, made it palatable,
tasty even, even those embarrassing wars

and bombs cooked up just right, spiced up,
mellowed down, adjusted to explain away

the aftertaste of body counts, of stalemates,
of losses, of collective guilt, platefuls, all

we could eat buffets of presidents and their
victories, of inedibles made edible, of years

we never get back, of time warmed, micro-
waved, left over leftovers, like foodies, even

back then, we prized what was on our plate,
ate it all, never uncomfortably full of it all.

Parthenon | A Poem by Roy Pullam

My knowledge
Of democracy rests
On Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
And a pile
Of broken stones
The beginning
Of western culture
On a hill
In freedom’s birthplace
I walk gingerly
My footsteps uncertain
On the wet rocks
Leading to the temple
Coming closer
To the skeleton
Marble columns
Two millenniums old
Reminders of a great civilization
That wrote the rules
That taught the world
And though in ruins
Enough remains
To give us a glimpse
Of the true greatness
That was Greece

Omaha Beach June 2006 | A Poem by Roy Pullam

The tides have taken the beaches back
Lonely pillboxes on the hill
Crosses and memorials
Beyond the rise
Bear witness
To that Omaha beach day
The silence of the morning
The whisper of the tide
The bark of the gulls
Interrupting the reverence
Of the June morning
In the distance
Children wade the surf
Their eyes directed down
To catch the sight
Of aquatic life
How somehow I expected
A freeze frame
The gravity of the carnage
Too strong for change
But life goes on
The old man
Bent on his cane
Looking across the horizon
As if to see once again
Comrades at arms
The boys following
The ebb of the water
With the events
So far back in history
That it has no meaning
Life goes on
With the old man
Stranded on an island
Of sad memories

Opaque History | A Poem by Ananya S. Guha

Roads of dreams
you walk in sleep
night’s destiny
you overturn
at midnight
when animals leapfrog
on your bare body.
You carry multitudes and slowly
your body swells, like a foaming sea
When you get some respite
what do you do?
Do you still carry oceans within?
or are you the embattled front stage
for wars, adventurism and roadside mishaps?
Do you remember all faces that you see
Mangled bodies in gutters
As you pick them up one by one
in your vast opaque history?