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Poetry is the source of all literature. 

In the evolution of communication arts, the verse emerged from the sea of song. Words turned and turned, gathered force in a charm, a prayer, an entreaty to the powers of life and death, to the beat of the heart, the rhythm of the cry. A gourd and skin formed the drum. A poor reed pricked with holes served as flute. One day the drum disappeared, stolen by the trickster forest god, the reed snapped and was tossed in the dry thicket. The shaman knew he must sing alone. His words hummed in his desert throat. The poem went out on its own, carried by his voice. A poem is now a quiet thing of the indoors; it whispers to the eyes and asks to be left alone.


Biographical note:


I've been writing poems since childhood.  I won my first contest in high school and my poems were first published in a daily circulation newspaper one week before I went to college.  Poetry is great to do and hard to evaluate. 


Since the rise of the novel, poetry has found a commercial use and public prominence in greeting cards and popular songs, but there abides a plea

Pachyderms Who Woke

could not dissemble

the roar of timber fallen...

The end's preamble came

swiftly and went,

the behemoths bellowed

but could not repent...

The White Male 


I, the nomad, stripped

Whipped & twisted by the sins

of the father, by the winds

of women, by the dark men,


I’m no holy ghost,

but a bull’s eye,

the face revolution

hates; yet a piece

of me remains, and

my bleeding, they

think it’s right, and I should

Vote for & condone it,

that my extinction will

end their strife.


I just wanted to say—“

“We’re not listening, go away!”

“—Just to tell you…”

“—We don’t care!  To hell with—“

“You don’t understand—“

“—And we don’t want to…”

“May I interrupt?”

“Shut up! Shut up!

Would you please


...Love life!

   (Give me a nickle)

Think upon time

    (Lend me a dime)

Muse upon eternity!

    (Give it to me free!)


All ends seek between,

The bridge empowers the banks,
Yet where the bridge ends
another begins,
spanning an abyss—
the absence of an end,
destination, rest—
This bridge is partial,

its extension endless 

Both sides are alike,
only between is unique.
The bridge has two mouths
bewailing separation. 
Each bank denies pride of place 
and sets its gaze on the opposing space.  

 When markets come calling,


The bridgeheads

Are sold as ideal locations
to watch the other side.                                          


Between these lines

I can be as crazy

As I like,

In the box

I’m uncontained



Body berserk

The devil’s work,

No swarm on earth,

No beast on land

Or fish at sea

Or vampire in the sky

Can hold back my callused

Killing hand,

Or fool my slow mo’ eye,

Or stop my feet 

From burning holes

In the concrete.

Rampaging, dominating                                                     Perpetual motion

Like a shark,

I swim, bleed, and drink the ocean

Dry—a killing, drilling machine,

Speed is my


Knowing where the ball will be

And beating it there

Making it change shape

And disappear

Is my cunning art;

I a blur

So fast

Can’t tell

What I’ll do next

Or where I’ll be,

For anybody watching

Good luck

And hold your bets,

I play on

Till the game disappearing

And all you see

Is white shirt,

And shadows

Dancing, all that’s left

This game is at a higher level,

Chaos at its best.

Poems and Plastiglas by Eric Jay Sonnenschein 

Photographs by Ralph Gabriner

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