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Richard Haesche


Colchester, CT, US

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Epistle Of Grief


Richard Haesche

Viewed from afar, in abstract,
war is but a headline, a caption,
a sketch, a new draft call...
to be read about during your daily routine
of going to and from work,
or after the supper dishes are done and you're
settled in your overstuffed chair
reading the evening paper.

Fire flickers low in the fireplace
warding off the chill of the wintry cold.
Kids are busy with homework or
just watching the tube.

Viewed from afar, untouched by its grim
realities, war is like an abstract painting...
or a far out folk tune...
or a metaphoric poem that touches you not.

You're worried about taxes, your mortgage payment,
your welfare check, or the price of butter.
You think `What a shame! Where will it all end?'
Then you turn the page to a sports editorial...
or Ann Landers
..or the comics.
After all, don't we all need laughs?

Evening ends. You retire to a sound sleep
untouched by the demand for more troops in Iraq...

Across town...
or across the street...
or down the block, a mother sits, crying unashamedly
while a tight-jawed father,
fighting to hold back his own tears,
drops the crumpled telegram to the floor...
an epistle of grief!

Two hearts, ripped from their moorings,
by a war that made them wonder...

Two hearts, touched by the war, and a son,
Too damn dead to care anymore!

On A Blank Page, Starkly


Richard Haesche

Pray tell me, blank paper, just what do you see
thru that puzzling grimace that stares back at me?
Do you see any promising future or hope
for this amateur poet? What? You say, "Nope?"

Oh come now, blank paper... give me a chance.
Don't you think that from amateur ranks I'll advance?
Don't you think perseverance, persistence and gall
will do any good for this poet at all?

Don't you even detect just a promising sigh
and a far away look in this amateur's eye?
Do you not see the frowns and the lines of duress
as my poor addled brain starts to tire from the stress?

Can't you hear all the fool things I say to rehearse
as I sit here so futilely thinking up verse?
Does it seem a surprise I return your bold stare
then take up my pen to respond to your dare?

Well, I'll tell you, blank paper, I'm not quitting yet,
so don't look so puzzled. You see all that sweat?
I'm keeping in practice with lines of light verse
so when markets are ready I won't have to rehearse.

Right now all they're buying is modern and strange,
but sooner or later their needs will all change.
And whenever that happens I'll give them my best
which may be as good as the great Edgar Guest!