To Either John or Bobby


To either John or Bobby

His wave left particles
in its wake–it was a smile like that–with teeth and fingers and
photons, that is to say, charged–

And when he let it loose
upon the crowds–actually, it wasn’t like that–
his smile was not an animal
whose bars he lifted,

no, it was more like a plant–a sun flower that turned back and forth
to the crowds
as if each person who gaped
held light, only it was the smile
that held the light,
shining as toothily
as a sun, as if it were the sun
that sought the plants,

it was an odd
bi-photosynthesis that happened so fast
you could see it–as if you could see a tree grow–

can you imagine seeing
a tree grow–
which is why the cutting down
was so cruel,  a tree supposed to grow
its whole life.



For Bjorn Rudberg’s very cool prompt on particle/wave theory on Real Toads.  End of April.  I didn’t fully participate this year, but did get back into blogging poetry.  For this I am very grateful, thanks.

A recycled drawing above from JFK’s funeral.


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10 Comments on “To Either John or Bobby”

  1. M Says:

    ah, this is so sad and true, K. we are left with legacies of hate on hate on hate in our country, and that cancer has metastasized in its current orange form. nonetheless, you write beautifully – the metaphor clear and bright. good to have you blogging again, even as I again bow away. ~

  2. grateful at all that you added your stellar voice this month. thanks. this one is intoxicating

  3. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    Yes, and I think they could have grown well –particularly Bobby.

  4. Jim Says:

    I respected them both, K. I am glad you gave their names in your title. The lines, ” a tree supposed to grow its whole life.” In actuality, humans and other animals are either growing or they are dying. I’m counting down. 🙂

  5. I see so much about the possibilities that was missed, I loved the sentence of trees and the heliotrope of the sunflowers turning.

  6. Brendan Says:

    Can’t get inside these seminal events without a physics to uncork them an a genie of poetry to jump in and swirl things around — this immediate, child-sensual, many-petaled and -shadowed. John or Bobby, hearse or horse, the wave allows us both particulars. There is the goodness of nature and sunshine of the good-natured — the healthy body politic — and the deforestation of our time. A poetry has to run naked & screaming from such napalm. We name it, claim it, write it, let it go, begin another.

  7. Marian Says:

    Charged. That’s exactly right. Like photoelectricity, and blown. Really sad… achy.
    I’ve so enjoyed writing with you in April, Karin!

  8. Kerry Says:

    It is true that some people are golden.. How you managed to express that so extraordinarily well in words and images here… well, that is your gift and I envy it.

    I also loved the way the line lengths were themselves kind of wavy, and how the sense of it all flowed down to the final regretful words.

    If nothing else, I feel like this April has given me back something that I had lost, almost without knowing it was gone.

    Thank you for being a part of the restoration.

  9. sanaarizvi Says:

    I agree, this is soo poignant and well expressed.

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