Friday, November 30, 2012

Two Poems by Walter Ruhlmann

Concrete Stairs

Smoking outside again, sitting on the concrete stairs descending into dad's garden,
the grey clouds covering the sky, invading my sight, some wind blowing on my face,
suffering the cold and damp weather in the Norman village, this jail I fled from years ago,
I watch the moss covering the wall, the weeping tree opposite the house
I hear the ducks quacking their ludicrous laughter as if one of them just slipped or performed
a dance like one used to sing in the eighties. I remember the red sleeve, the stupid tune.

These memories will be the end of me, the final step taken before I fall into madness,
complete, total, absolute, inevitable.

The first fall occurred some thirty-five years ago:
a toddler was I, just ready to discover the world.
I could have died the day I fell from the top to the bottom of these stairs;
a bump as big as an egg growing on my forehead.
This must have left me bad scars, bruises,
incorrigible but imperceptible mental inabilities.

Prior to that
they had almost blinded me with forceps – malignancy
they had dumped me on the bare bedroom floor – overtiredness
they had left in the sharp claws of a drunkard nanny – naivety
they had almost smashed my head against the garage door – absent-mindedness
their dog had nearly wolved me – jealousy.

I have escaped physical harm many times
but do not seem to be able to avoid being slime.

November Children

When the first of November comes ringing at our doors,
right after the tricks or treats children from the neighbourhood perform,
masked and laughing, shrieking gulls, ghouls and ghosts, vampires,
other zombies springing out from behind the bushes,
terminators, wolverines or cat-women,
all shadowy and whispering otherworldly words,
sharp, piercing knives of mockery,
we know Winter – my oldest, elder brother – my own secret lover – has come along with Shamain.

The frost at dawn warns us and keeps us inside
under blankets, thick covers, wool jumpers, heavy sweaters,
with cups of hot milk, coffee, water, whatever can warm our inside.

Somerset, Gloucestershire, Lancashire
Winter in these places comes like a dark grey veil brought by the wind,
a gentle breeze that soon becomes stormy and wet. Lingering for so many days. Lasting eternally.
Maore was windy and dry.
I wonder how Bresse will be like.

October child moons over rainy days.
Somehow he suffers from the recluse concept he inflicts on himself,
somewhat his eyes drop out of his bare skull, skyline for the flies,
somewhere certainly lives someone who would share his suffering,
sulphured semen stain the bed sheets.

November child comes right after.
Winter betrayed this court jester,
the king and the loons deceived him
while the mountains stare from their heights
the battles of two damaged brains,
the frights of fraternal foes fallen far from their lair.

Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edits mgversion2>datura and runs mgv2>publishing. Walter is the author of several poetry chapbooks and e-books in French and English and has published poems and fiction in various printed and electronic publications world wide. He is an associate editor at Poet & Geek journal. Nominated for Pushcart Prize once.
His blog

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