Monday, December 29, 2008

Waiting down from Galilee, a poem

Waiting down from Galilee
by Mike Marcellino

What are we waiting for
sings a young Nashville girl
in a ballad for MTV.
Waiting down from Galilee.

What are we waiting for
asks an old man
piloting a ferry boat
to the South China Sea.
Waiting down from Galilee.

What are we waiting for
to work
raise a family
Waiting down from Galilee.

What are we waiting for
divine intervention
in Tennessee
Tel Aviv.
Waiting down from Galilee.

Waiting down from Galilee copyright Mike Marcellino 2008

After the fall, a poem

After the fall
By Mike Marcellino

In a time of universal deceit –
telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

Stolen quotes,
Stolen hours.
Day and night
Frozen by time
After the Fall.

A knight cold
In amour,
Irish whiskey
After a girl of Twenty
Who goes her way
In a vegan powered bus from Omaha to Austin.

Stolen quotes,
Stolen hours.
Day and night
Frozen by time
After the Fall.

Anarchists hidden
In castles of fog,
on grey naked fields,
Of the Counts of Toulouse
After the Fall.

Copyright 2008 by Mike Marcellino

Ok you, a poem with photographs

Ok you
by Mike Marcellino


Yesterday helpless moments nearly cracked me up

In chipped black letters
said the hamlet’s sign over the gate.

The day
left footprints on my brain;
Wrapped up in Vietnamese children and guns.
The children lit my eyes.
The guns bored my ears
Stepped into the sluggish heat
back ‘n’ forth
war to a naked child.

Had a little friend
I’ll never see again;
Looked down
at his fraying, worn-soft hat;
Looked up
at the string of unfaded new ones
in the hamlet’s many-goods store.


thatched-roof huts,
in all shades of brown ‘n
n’ stagnant watering mud holes.

This river-fed village
ever so struck
my shinny-metal,
clean-sheet mind
from first darkness to last,
each move clung
still clinging;

A red sun painted on the river’s ripples
showing the way to the day
laid open
by always hot tomorrow bringer.

Dykes of preoccupation broke down
making a slushy body
and an open mind.


I was cornered in a schoolroom
barren of learning
and window-paneless
with wooden stuff and rubble
filled with tens upon tens
of dark and dirty-skilled hungry hands
that took me to the brink of helplessness.

Their voices in tune
with outstretching hands
crying in monotone
“Ok you,
Ok you,
Ok you,”
to me.

Over ‘n over
hands upon hands
for balloons.

Both gestures and sounds
of children
only broken
by cannons’
rocking blasts
bringing tiny index fingers
up to plug small ears.

I reached to the ceiling
and they clung and clutched
and followed
for a green balloon.

Tiny kids
crushed and swallowed.

I fought to keep sight of two hanging tears;
N’ once n’ a while
a snot-nosed baby
in his mother’s arms
came by.

Not a time of charm.
Your worth of colored balloons?
Hard to blow up ones,
that redden your face.

My appeals –
enough for everyone
I open only give one
at a time.

“Is red in
or out?”
By blood
given or sold?”

Some stuffed their match-book size pockets,
others cried.
“Was it a thing?

I would not let go
the balloons to chaos,
let myself madden.
Me –
a stranger,
a non-speaker
among enlightening faces.

said me
to plop one balloon
in a hand
for clutching;
“Two bags of balloons
almost ugly
the giving,”
thinks balloon-less, self-relieved me.


Men heaped soap to them,
like slop to pigs,
to scrambling
tatterly-clad kids.
I threw no balloons.

“What? non-speakers
throw things
at people
hungry people.”
Though, “none were sick,”
said Doctor Soap.


A three-ringed circus
two big guns
and a give-away fun
in the riverside hamlet
off the beaten path
off the waterway
from Saigon to the South China Sea.

Two rings blasted jagged metal
from howitzers
and the men
and the guns
sank into the swampy earth;
Kids dragged
wooden shell boxes
and cardboard casings away.

Men and guns
too muddled;
Men huddled
with children echoing English –
“Ok you,
Ok you,
Ok you;”

And the rings gave way
to the rising tide.
Two boys
through mucky water
to bobbing
sea ration cans;
And the rectangular, blue-gray boats
pulled out
with me sleeping.

Copyright Mike Marcellino, 1968, 1989, 2007, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Music Street, a poem

Music Street
By Mike Marcellino

I know a street called Music Street
wish you could come along.
Music Street sings to me
it could do the same for you.

Driving along it’s quiet too
but you have to walk to hear your song
on Music Street.

There’s a picture in my mind
two little girls kneeling
beside a tombstone in a cemetery
alongside the road.

Grain fields dance on Music Street
In tune with the flickering sun.

Come along with me down Music Street,
when your mind is getting tired,
for the song I hear is one of
just peace and fun.

Music Street, copyright by Mike Marcellino, 1974, 2008