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Poem of the Week 2 (in paperback)

November 24, 2017

 

POW 2 ends with a POW!, with a gripping and hallucinatory poem by Russell Francis, documenting the crucible he experienced in the Vietnam-era Navy where “men went mad and death had its due.” Check out our book page at http://www.lulu.com/shop/red-wheelbarrow-poets/pow-2-the-red-wheelbarrow-poem-of-the-week-2017/paperback/product-23422035.html

More Steam

In the “Heart of America-66” I, the brigand, tell my tale
in Pirates Cove; near Robins Reef, they sing to Valhalla.
I, brigand, tell my tale of you.
Those were times told by few here; I toiled.
Sweat-stained hands hard on course and stay the helm.
America, you sweat me hard those years. Heat.
The heat is hot, your engines roar, more steam!
If this place be Hell, if Hell I live, more steam!
Boilers pant and mud plates scream, and the capt’n rings down.
More steam! I hold the helm and answer true, more steam!
Men go mad, and death takes its due, and engines roar all pride
taken to Valhalla.
For pride, I broke your back; I broke your heart; I stole your soul.
More steam!

—RUSSELL FRANCIS

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