Friday, December 9, 2016

December 9: A Cheer Comes Up, Voting Open, Poet Laureate of the U. P.

A cheer comes up from the crowd on the bridge . . .

Yes, the crowd cheers because help has arrived to pump out the basement of a flooded house.

My cheer comes up tonight because the voting has opened for 2017 Poet Laureate of the U. P.  Now, I know there is a way to somehow vote more than once.  I'm not sure how that's done.  But, I'm asking for your support.  (Don't worry.  I'm not going to go all Donald Trump on my competition.  I'm not going to start calling the other nominees "crooked" or start chants to send them to prison.)

In order to help you decide whether to vote for me or not, I will be including one of my original poems every night from now until the voting closes.  If you need your driveway shoveled or a room or your house painted, let me know.

Saint Marty is not good at stuff like this.  He hasn't liked popularity contests since he lost the election for class treasurer when he was in high school.  Enjoy the poem.

Truce, 1914

by:  Martin Achatz
Between “Stille Nacht” and “Adeste Fideles,”
they came together in that no man’s
place.  Climbed from the trenches,
eyed each other like distant cousins
at a family reunion.  The German boy
maybe gave the British boy fruitcake
soaked in whiskey because they both
missed their mothers.  Maybe
they showed each other snapshots.
Younger brothers.  Dead grandpas.  Pretty sisters.
They pointed at them.  Said names.
Benjamin.  Opa Franz.  Beatrice.
Candles stuttered in fir trees.
The dead littered the earth,
staring into the dark heavens,
frozen in the violent moment
of payment.  The cost of conflict.
These enemies, these brothers,
helped each other bury
their friends, prayed together.
And peace fell on them that Christmas
Eve like snow.  It was soft.
Quiet.  It felt like
a coming home, where everybody
is happy to see each other
after a long season of separation.
That is what I hold onto
one hundred years later.
That they looked into
each other’s eyes, saw
something familiar, foreign, wondrous:
hope.  Newborn.  Naked.  Fragile
as a mother’s lullaby on a winter’s night.

The link to vote is below.


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