Excavation

Tell me if you’re game for a little dig

at our history. Not the tourist-trap

grabbing of photo-surface rubble

but a real excavation:

Let’s look at foundation.

 

Smash apart the facade marked “1379,”

bulldoze right through the war’s reparations

(all-new electric, clean-water pipes—

the glossing of horror for a new generation):

Let’s make an excavation.

 

Throw down stone by stone the rotting

temples. Send sandals to museums

and pocket the coins, shut your ears

to the years of blood-screaming conflagration:

Let’s dig the foundation.

 

Auger deep through layers of weapons, potsherds,

bones. Build mountains of mud and sand, crush

ideals and human promise, fossils since time began.

Later we’ll puzzle over fragmentation

or play a game of recalculation.

 

There’s nothing here not damaged, exploded,

shaken, nothing whole to the earth’s core

since we learned greed and hate.

(But tell me you’re game; let’s excavate.)

 

Where is hope’s fountain

that deep well, that rock?

 

We don’t have the machinery to cut it.

 

My first attempt at a Speakeasy prompt: #160. 

 

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34 thoughts on “Excavation

  1. The impression I had of this post was of the Mayans or the Aztecs, conquered by the Spaniards, by disease and greed and warfare. I’m sure that’s not what you intended, but those are the images you invoked in me. Well done!

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    1. What I thought I intended isn’t how it ended up…that happens to me a lot when writing 🙂 As for your impressions, yes, definitely!

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  2. This is great – the rhythm, rhyme and beat are complex yet easily pull you along and I love history, so your historical references captured my interest. Very nice!

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    1. Thank you. I’m really interested in history, too. I’m living in Germany right now–history runs DEEP around here!

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    1. Thanks. You know I loved yours, too…a much more contemplative tone! p.s. I lived in the Chicago south suburbs for 10 years…your blog makes me a little homesick.

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    1. 🙂 Shoot, I’m trying to come up with a good synonym for “thank you.” But thank you thank you!

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  3. This is so thoughtful and so beautifully constructed (pardon the pun!). I love the repetition you use in the last lines of the first three stanzas. And I love the metaphor and the imagery.

    Thanks so much for joining us at the speakeasy this week! 🙂

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  4. I cringed when I saw the title on the thumbnail on the Speakeasy grid. I was expecting a too-literal take on the photo prompt. I was pleasantly surprised by the metaphor you developed.

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    1. Yay, thanks! Lately I’ve become anti-punctuation in my poetry, but this one seemed to demand it.

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