Friday, August 07, 2009

Two Poems By Bill Coker

Bill Coker, husband and dad, newly retired teacher, musician and composer, intercessor and worship leader, pro-lifer and missions supporter, poet and a well-balanced connoisseur of also a longtime member of the Notting Hill Napoleonsa and, Claire and I are really pleased to say, a good friend.

Here's a couple of Bill's poems that I think you'll find most provocative.


I had read all about triumphal entries
with garments—precious garments
in days before washers or dry cleaners—
strewn like palm branches on the road
for a borrowed burro to soil,
but when I saw him striding
smiling towards me with open arms,
saw blood on his forehead, his side,
his hands, my heart leapt at the thought
of what this blood could do—would do—
to my navy blazer, my white shirt, my striped tie,
and I balked, lowered my eyes
and watched dust settle
over the shine
of my wing-tip shoes.

“Ann would’ve loved this,” you say,
as we drive from the cemetery, flanked
by close-cropped bean fields and snaggled
corn stalks still dazed by the late harvest.

“Beige was her favorite color.” Our dust
catches up with us at the stop sign and rolls
on through. Above the shoulders of the highway,
prairie grass whispers to weathered fence posts

and cattail-filled ditches. A linen cloud
stretches in long folds like a shroud cast aside.
The sun is a honeycomb spreading
warm, sweet light along the horizon.

Beneath the deepening sky, we pull out,
turning toward the river where another
dawn will come to sparkle the waters.
“Beige,” you repeat. “Beige and blue.”