Virgil Chabre

history and poetry

WYOMING MINERS

When someone asks us
Where we are from
We smile and say
We're from under Wyoming
The land of our fathers
And their fathers too
It's in our blood
The earth within us
We're not happy in the sunshine
We spend our days
And nights in tunnels
Where darkness is our friend
The gophers and prairie dogs
Live above us
In tunnels of their own
Sometimes they don't understand
The sounds down below
In the winter when they sleep
They dream of metal monsters
Digging in the earth below
When spring comes
Sometimes they are awakened early
By the sound of fireworks
Before the fourth of July
We work the earth
Like a farmer works the surface
Following the steps
Our fathers took
They walk in our shadows
Protecting us from the sun  


 

Baltimore

A city founded
In 1789 but
That is not true
It was always here
Inhabited by Native Americans

It was just a place
For Catholics to gather
Religious freedom
But it was a slave state
And race problems
Would echo for years
Black and White
Were more than just colors
In the land of Chesapeake Bay

Switchblade Freddie Gray
Carrying an illegal knife
Chased by the Baltimore police
Taken down "without  incident"
But somewhere along
A bumpy road
He slumped in his seat
No seat  belt to hold him

A stop
To put him in ankle chains
But his legs would not
Hold him up
Three stops before
Medical help

Taken to a hospital
Where he fell a victim
To police
Who were not color blind
His spine severed at his neck
He could not speak
His voice box was crushed

In a city where
Edgar Alan Poe
Wrote horror stories
Freddie Gray lived one
In the back of a police van

Poetry and history go hand in hand.  Many events in history both large and small have inspired poems.  Walt Whitman was inspired by Abraham Lincoln and wrote O Captain!  My Captain and Lord Byron wrote The Eve of Waterloo.  This page is devoted to some of the history that has influenced my poetry.

     -virgil chabre 


THE WALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN

November in Berlin
Was never this way
Running back and forth
Like a pendulum on a clock
The clock struck twelve
And Cinderella ran
With both slippers
And a smile on her face
Not worrying about time
Humpty Dumpty jumped
It wasn't a great fall
And the pieces
Crumbled around him
But he never glanced back
As the wall came tumbling down

What Happened to My  Brother

It was a strange summer
Cool breeze
Rain
Tension in the air
We went fishing
Ate at The Hub
Drove down
Sheep Creek Canyon
His back was out
Slept in a chair
But help would be denied
His suffering the result
Of a past gone wrong
It is the unknown
That haunts us
The conflict of interest
White lies
All adding up
To a mathematical formula
That cannot be solved
Yet we will think of him
Every day
And how he left us
For he is close by
Telling us
Not to let him go

December Holocaust

It was the 12th day of December
I can remember the day
But not the year
My long term memory has slipped away
Lost somewhere in a cattle car
Along a lonely railroad

It is snowing today
A cold chill fills the air
Today we walk with no shoes
Picking up the pieces of life
Left behind

A strange smoke fills the air
The stench of death all around us
We are silent
Nothing to talk about
Nothing to share
The future
The past
Existence gone
It is the present
A time for silence

A cold breeze 
Blows through my body
My bones are chilled

Smoke rises into the sky
Taking lost relatives
For a final ride


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