He Fought

He fought for his country
surrounded by Japanese water
assuming he would die
and never have a life
that didn't include jungles, malaria
and death reaching for him
in the guise of a bullet.

He fought with himself
for control. The jungles had been nothing
compared to a wife and kids
when there were so many other ladies
that needed love
or at least a good screw.

He fought with his girlfriend,
she called the house.
He felt like one of the bullets
had finally found him.
Open warfare and a kamikaze flying low,
crashing through the door.

He fought with himself,
for right and wrong.
The kids would understand, the wife would understand.
He fought for his freedom,
now he had to have it,
and he would be back every so often
for some home cookin',
wink and a smile.

He fought with his wife,
walk out the door and he couldn¹t come back.
Life didn¹t work that way,
malaria or no,
veteran or no,
right or wrong
and he was gone.

He fought for his country
and helped win our freedom.
He fought with himself
and lost his way
down a path
that ended in the jungle.


The Professor

The moon's craters
breathed blue light into the black sky,
a gift for the watchers on Earth
who had settled in
for an evening with the old man.
The rugged, handsome face
always on watch
like a father who can¹t stop worrying.
The scars on the surface
looked a little deeper than yesterday,
an eroding sadness
because each year
he moves a little farther away
from his children.


Dali, Vas, 1 a.m.

Tigers, tigers, tigers,
stalking my dreams;
drums, beating drums
leading them to me;
a female voice, haunting, ghostly,
a siren, resting my head in sleep
on the floor of the jungle.
The tiger's eyes, brown velvet
burning through the night¹s cloth,
burning for me
to the beat of the driving drums.
Tigers in tandem
leaping from the bush.
I am naked and prone,
covered in a sumptuous blanket
of the siren¹s cream-colored song.
Like rain, they pelt me,
great cats pouncing not on me,
but through me.
The siren singing, drums beating,
the jungle opens one giant eye
to the desire.
The singing stops,
the drums stop,
melting into the envelope of darkness.
The jungle blinks
and I roll like a tear
down a frond of lush green
into the waiting mouth
of Blake's Tyger.

(c) Christopher Hivner 2002

Christopher Hivner

Lives in south central Pennsylvania in the United States. "Distractions for me include Charlie Chan movies, Counting Crows (both the band and the activity) and the Pablo Neruda poem, Tonight I Can Write."