Monday Poem

War & Weekends

I’m writing from a list of prompts
in an exercise for loosening the tight grip
of uncertainty of mind in an effort
to knock the chocks from under its
big wheels to let the thing roll

yesterday’s was war, which I skipped,
never having been there but in books
and other vicarious means, safe
for the time being in my bubble—
yet there it is today, in news, on screen, its horror,
its devastation, its grief, its incendiary reality,
its cyclical road to nowhere
lined with corpses —immediate.

but today the prompt is: weekends,
two days arbitrarily set aside
as if they were, literally, the end of weeks
which themselves are inventions,
yet we love them so, respite as they are
from the famous dictum of Eden
at the moment of our eviction that: we
shall, henceforth, labor by sweat of brow

—at least until robots are conceived
further down the road and AI comes along
to relieve us from the ache of work
and thought, and knowing—

we shall sweat in sorrow, no less—

which brings us back to war and other
misapprehensions and monkey-wrenches
of thought and mind concocted by beings
who wage war and write poems

.Jim Culleny, 4/23/22