December 1, 2013
Poetry’s duty is to surprise us. We long for the poet, in some way, to lift the veil of the ordinary allowing us to see something in a new light. Too many poems deal with the same subjects and fail to jolt the mind.
Kevin LeMaster writes from South Shore, Ky. He offers a poem that, I guarantee, will force you to never see its subject in quite the same way.
When the vultures circle,
after they have located
that which they cannot kill,
they fall gently to earth
like leaves, or feathers,
or baby birds that never see
the pavement from overhead,
and they graze the pink flesh
with piranha-like mouths
until the absence of life
fills up their beaks
and they must swallow.
They are nature’s beautification
program, keeping the streets clean
so the unions do not have to pay
overtime, and carcasses do not
have to litter these bloated avenues.
Who would have ever considered the common vulture as “nature’s beautification program?” The answer is, a poet. The answer is, Kevin LeMaster. “Piranha-like mouths.” “Bloated avenues.” What fine images. Thanks to this local wordsmith for lifting the veil and letting us see something with new eyes.
Address poem submissions and correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).