Daily Archives: April 30, 2018

No Like

Don’t care if you like me.
Poets don’t need to be liked.
Heard is enough, if you you want to help out,
but liked is more than we need.

As people, yes, we want to be liked.
But as much as we channel
people, people we are not,
sometimes being liked is extra, 
not critical as long as we are 
heard. Sometimes we don’t even 

channel people. We speak for stones
and bricks and guns and maybe now and then
a tree or two.  Maybe a bird, and we’re in this
for the evocative song or report from the barrel
and not for being liked.  It’s easier, you see,

if they think we’re angry or sad or messed up behind
their dislike of us when truth be told
we’re easily as happy as hell to be mentioned
or noticed instead of liked. We leave liking

to the politicians.  We leave it to those
we speak of: the wronged and saddened, 
the oppressed and dead and all the broken.
Like them if you want to like anyone
as we are the ones who should step beyond

the categories if we want to be true
to the calling.  For me at least
I don’t care it you like me. I don’t care
for your liking.  How shallow were my poems
if you even have an inkling of comfort from them?
How much did I miss
if you like me

for having written them?

The Mockingbird

A mockingbird just landed on the railing.
It stares through me as if I were not here.

I may not be here.
True, I may have passed through

and left a mark in the air
but that bird either sees it

and sees nothing worth imitating, 
nothing calling out for it to copy,

or it sees nothing at all.
We are three feet apart.

I am not moving. My body
will not move toward the light,

or perhaps light
will not fix itself upon me.

I sit in the shade
and the bird sees nothing

or sees me and does not care.
I hold my breath

and hope to exist again, differently,
when the bird is gone, if I have existed at all;

I feel like a ghost
or spirit honored 

by this bird’s disregard, so often
have I been an object of fear;

if I resume presence
upon its departure

may I remain less terror than landscape,
less threat than fellow being to all.