Robert Demaree

2 Poetic Selections

by Robert Demaree


The English Teacher

At my first school
The old English teacher,
A mentor of sorts,
Would smile at the young
Latinist in the hall
And mumble
Fratres in urbe, fratres in facultate,
Rolled those sonorous Virginia vowels,
Out and about,
Admired Stonewall Jackson, the Psalms—
Called them the Sams.
After faculty meetings we would go
For pizza and a beer.
He always ordered coffee,
Then slipped out to the restroom.
In low tones he would tell us
Of his poor Midwestern wife,
Their home where he had a room.
One night he drove into a parked car,
Said he was interested in water
That froze at 34 degrees.


Songs For The End Times

If e-mail is passé,
What will follow texts and tweets,
What devices so intricate and small
That our grandsons may not understand,
Although their children will,
An app hardwired to the brain,
The pineal gland perhaps,
That will assess the content of one’s soul
And forward the data directly
To the next portal.

We are beyond a hierarchy of opinion.
I used to pay attention to the Triple-A
Or the paper’s restaurant critic,
But now everyone reviews everything,
One person’s judgment no better than another’s.
And not just books and music:
Dentists, vacuum cleaners, family therapists,
Plumbers and professors:
The receptionist was rude to me.
So if we can leave condolences online,
How long until we assess
The life of the departed,
With one to five stars,
Tiny box for comments,
Saving St. Peter the trouble:
This review was helpful to no one.


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