Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

July-Oct 2019

Goodbye and Other Poems — Joshua Medsker


Joshua Medsker, born in Alaska and currently living in New Jersey, has written poems, plays, short stories, and articles published in Into The Void (UK), Eastlit (Southeast Asia), Paper and Ink (UK), Red Wolf Journal (Singapore), The Brooklyn Rail, The Anchorage Press, Empty Mirror, Everest, Haiku Journal, The Anchorage Press, The NYADP Journal, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Dissident Voice, Clamor, The Austin Chronicle, and Occupy PoetrySince 2013, he has been a member of the Academy of American Poets. He is the editor of the small press, Twenty-Four Hours, which began in 2001 as a Tokyo-based literary magazine. He can be contacted at joshmedsker@gmail.com.


 

1. Goodbye

 

Praise, and rest well comrade,
my friend of matchless days.
For by east and west
is no contest
your matchless lyric phrase.

Those he followed and followed him
loved him well,
and where the simpler would tire,
his ideas were taut
with supple thought,
and matchless was his fire.

 

2. Toes

 

I grip my toes around the jersey sheet.
Around the folds they curl, against the dark.

Although the day has weathered me apart,
my painful wants unfulfilled, underneath
my covers I am safe, toes run the crease.
My breath comes softly, softer than my heart,
which slows and slows until it knows we’re free.

 

3. Rivers

 

We are leaves in a river, bobbing and weaving
Forgetting and remembering how to swim

and why we sink

But ever spinning, sometimes resting
long enough to smile at the sky.

 

4. Not the End

 

Things are more like now than they’ve ever been;

if you see Buddha in the road, kill him;

beware of false Christs and mind the trumpets

they are the beginning, not the end.

 

5. The Fire and the Flood

 

The complacency of fools
destroys us, brothers

and though our eyes lower
with the shame of a tyrant

through the window I walked--
and wading through the fog

I saw the horizon.

 

Astride both sky and earth, the hero stands,
Accursed strength ever binding fraying strands.
And so long nights under cold he spends
until the world, as everything, hath end,
until oceans rise and flood our history
and dying mouths tear down the mystery.