Archive for September, 2021

Remembering

Posted: September 30, 2021 in Poetry
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REMEMBERING
By David Allen

For decades I was 
the elephant in the room,
jotting down what I saw and heard
when I attended trials and responded
to wrecks, fires, murders and mayhem..
I typed up what I saw and heard
and editors splashed the stories
across newspaper pages.

We were the community’s memory.

I spent 20 years 
reporting in the Far East.
On the fiftieth anniversary
of the War in the Pacific
I interviewed scores of veterans,
sharing their memories of  those
harrowing, island-hopping days.

A decade ago I retired
from newspapers and
threw myself into poetry,
remembering in verse
all I experienced
in a life full of words.

 
NOTE: This is one of three poems of mine featured In the new issue of The Last Stanza Poetry Journal (Issue six). It's an excellent magazine. Get it at Amazon.com.

Riding the Elephant

Posted: September 28, 2021 in Poetry
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RIDING THE ELEPHANT
By David Allen

Thailand’s Sin City glowed at night,
neon signs lit Pattaya’s streets packed 
with American sailors and Marines 
who jostled European tourists seeking
drugs, booze and unbridled sex.

I was there to report on
joint military maneuvers,
but was struck silly 
by the maneuvers of
the "Buy-Me-Drinky”' gals 
dressed in schoolgirl uniforms,
plaid skirts and light blue blouses.
They performed bumps and grinds
in club doorways, promising wild sex.

Scantily clad waitresses in the hotel lobby 
knelt next to my chair, gingerly holding
cups to my lips as I sipped my drinks.
Outside, the streets sported cocktail bus-pubs,
and older prostitutes called from darkened doorways, 
that hid their age-warped bodies, selling themselves
for a few Thai bahts or Yankee bucks.

I spent most of my time in my hotel room 
writing about how the day’s exercise went, 
sending the story to my editors in Tokyo,
calling my wife a half ocean away,
and fending off a hallway hostess 
who wanted to give me an hour of 
"the best ever sexual deep massage." 

In the hotel restaurant I saw 
a family with two children 
and asked my interpreter
where they would go for fun.
Besides a few religious shrines,
where would a tourist in 
Sin City take a child?
Even the beautiful beaches 
swarmed with sex.

He laughed and drove me to a zoo 
where children perched on baby elephants 
that were led around a small circular track.
He was taken aback when I asked
if I could scramble atop one and go for a ride.
I didn’t care about seeming silly and laughed 
as I climbed up on Dumbo for what was
the highpoint of my trip to Thailand’s 
version of Sodom and Gomorrah

NOTE: This is one of three poems of mine in the new Last Stanza Poetry Journal (Vol 6). Be sure to order from Amazon.

Sunladen

Posted: September 19, 2021 in Poetry
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SUNLADEN
By David Allen

She was a sunladen maiden,
a bronzed beauty
born of sunkissed beaches
and winter tanning beds.
But the ultraviolent rays
photoaged her
and her darkened skin
turned leathery,
with wallowed wrinkles
and blotched barnacles.
Cancer threatened her days.
She had been sunsuckered.
Brown is beautiful,
the fashion mags stressed.
And now she’s sunsundered,
cloaked head-to-toe
to hide the tandamage. 

NOTE: This poem was a challenge from the Last stanza Poetry Association to write a poem with invented words that sound like they're not. Did you stumble over them?