‘Vessel’ and Other Poetry by Peter G. Epps, Ph.D. The Society January 23, 2015 Beauty, Humor, News of Note, Poetry 2 Comments Vessel No one can insure candlelight; its flame Precisely burns in flickering waves of gas, Ingesting oxygen while fibers pass Through burning into soot, and feel no shame. A stroke of pen or brush behaves the same When we regard them steadily: the mass Remains inert like painted prairie grass Until it fuels this fire of ancient fame. Pens scratch across the page, and words cross lips; Pigments blend oil and water into shapes Deeper than canvas warrants; all of these Transmute us, act to act: as window drapes, Hung flowing like her skirt on windy seas, Carry us off to see horizons slip. Mao’s Garden To pacify the peaceful, someone paid (Unspeakable, lamentable, in fear) Rough souls to make the flowers bloom each year: To pry, to prune, to peddle what we’ve made. On bicycles, in taxicabs, they raid Each last enduring spring of human cheer And, scoffing at the things we most revere, Subject us to the plans bookkeepers made. Accountants in the red, and we in black, Adjust the sullen calculus of loss; We mourn our wrongs, they calculate the price, Adjusting costs to bring bad goods across: As though morality were cards and dice; As though neutrality could bring them back. Riddle Often on tables, Never a leaf; At your command, I will eat beef; Set me down flat, Roll me aside, Drown me at last, and then Send me to hide. [a pot] Peter G. Epps is a professor of humanities at Oklahoma State University. Featured Image: “Sunrise on the Bay of Fundy” by William Bradford (1823-1892). NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 2 Responses Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi January 23, 2015 Beautiful meter and rhyme. Reply Reid McGrath January 23, 2015 These are not one-run-through kind of poems. You’re making me think. But I like it. Reply Leave a Reply to Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.