Charles Hassell : Poetry!
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Born in NC, raised in NC, livin’ in NC. Reckon I’ll die here. Daddy’s from down east, Momma’s from Georgia, and I live and die by slow cooked pork and greasy collard greens. Throw in some hush puppies, too. I love me some Faulkner, Wendell Berry- and Clyde Edgerton!
“A Call To Earth”
Clad in pants and shorn and shaved,
quietened by green and tree,
we arrive and claim our space.
None thinking of the nearly graved.
The sparkle of our things a-whir,
homes and cars and gadgetry;
numberless tools all being sold
one step ahead the stiff’ning stir.
It’s new, we say, we’re not long led
on chases through the desert night;
this new age, we seem to say,
will finally fill our modern head.
Our head where burns all hope and fear!
Though we tamp and tamp them down-
they rise up strong as an ancient god,
storming through a conscience clear.
Clear- for those who dare achieve,
amid the spit-shined murk and mire,
a humanity, more than desire,
fine-tuned and well-wide to receive.
Our children will know who was wise;
ponderous looking on mad days,
when routing and raging this mighty haze,
we lolled our nights on cots of lies.
Pleasures can placate any hand.
And still it, for the time they last.
Until diversion becomes the food- and fast
there is nowhere left to stand.
“Remembering How We Are”
Passing self to soul
like a cat
moves room to room.
Street lamps wink in the storm wind,
marking our move
as we turn,
No past touchable.
No ritual real.
thick on the damp green lush.
Stoned with stories
of fallen places,
rites of man.
Ranted to ruin!
Scream of the screens.
Heartlands all a-tatter.
The robin still throats it out.
Sing of the child’s eye- spring ever clearer!
we are magmatic.
Restive and rich-
drip-dream jungle flows-
thick red boiling seas
of slowly erupting hearts.
“Confluence at 6:18”
I was saying
you are everything
to a mossed oak
cupping grey light
in a corner of dew-webbed glass.
My eldest rattled the moon
with cries to mystery.
(Her yells honest & uncharted)
The alarm bells ordered
Amid the din- in the inhale’s cleft-
repeating a question:
What breathes here?
“Ceaseless Lives of Ease”
set the mind running
so not to let it
by a window,
for the dawn
of what is known.