Sunday, April 09, 2006

Trombone Angels

The trombone angels have no teeth.
No ears.
Lips like a frozen kiss.
Their last dance was in the air,
ghost band hovering over the flames
at Auschwitz, Cambodia, Iraq.
Dressed in black raincoats,
they shuffle to fresh graveyards
and bone laden ditches,
feet cut and dirty.

What did they think
when they once flew,
ground rushing beneath them so fast?
Did they see gods reach
out to snatch soul from body
before flesh died?
Is that too much to believe?
Too much to hope for?

They blow a sweet tune
for those who no longer buy lies
from bible-rumped matrons
about lesser gods
for those not washed in Christ's blood
or chained to a catholic sainthood.
Those matrons claim we're all sinners.
They cast the first stones to prove it.

The wail of the trombones rises
as night tosses its net of stars.
A cock cries three times.
The silence from the graves is deafening.

So named for the men who once followed
the hearses through New Orleans streets

If I did this correctly, here's an audio link for the poem, with music/effects.


Michael Parker said...

Hi Pris! This is masterfully written--the questions, the images, the insight. Excellent! Amazing.

Pris said...

Welcome back!!!! Thanks, Michael!

Lyle Daggett said...

Pris, just a remarkable poem. Really profoundly moved me.

Just a detail -- I'm guessing and/or assuming that by "Auchwitch" you intended "Auschwitz"?

(I'm never sure about whether to question someone's spelling, in English anyway -- English being the capricious spelling creature it is -- though here I found the spelling of the place a slight distraction, slightly taking me out of the poem for a moment.)

Again that's just a tiny thing. The poem really swept me up and carried me away.

Pris said...

Hi Lyle
I've seen both spellings on the internet, but doublechecked just now. I found it spelled as I have it on this Jewish site decrying the camp....

but the way you spelled it is more commmon, so I think I'll change it. Thanks.

Thanks also for your comments. I really do appreciate.