[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Poems by Duane Locke – Issue.XXVIiI : May 2017 ” main_heading_color=”#1e73be” sub_heading_color=”#8224e3″ spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” line_style=”dotted” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#1e73be” icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^48|url^http://ashvamegh.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ashvamegh-ICO.jpg|caption^null|alt^Ashvamegh Journal Icon|title^Ashvamegh ICO|description^null” img_width=”48″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:34px;” line_width=”3″]experience at its best…[/ultimate_heading][vc_single_image image=”5562″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”zoom” css_animation=”fadeIn”]

About the Poet:

A Doctor of Philosophy, Duane has taught renaissance literature as a professor emeritus of the humanities, and has been a former poet in residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. He has 1000s of poems published in places such as American poetry review, nation, bitter oleander; and online in many ezines. published 14 books and 3 e-books, the squids dark ink, from a tiny room, and the death of daphne.



An old, regal-red bantam rooster sat on my termite-chewed

Window sill when I was tossed into the world.

He crowed loudly, and was an oracle.

I felt his crow ooze though my new-born skull.

Moved in, to live in my new-born brain.

Many times I inwardly again heard the crow,

Much louder, very loud, when people

Tried to speak their beliefs and values into me.

His loud crow returning, erased their voices,

Erased their presence.  I was saved from

Living by the lies by which our world lives by.

I did not learn to laugh at their trivial, unfunny jokes

That they laughed at.  I did not want

The life-styles they worked so hard to maintain.


I learned from a news broadcast the city politicians

Had passed a law that barred roosters

From living with the city limits.





When Blake saw a tree,  he saw leaves

as the green songs of green angels.

He saw, felt an authentic reality, an earth reality,

When the human slave mentality

Sees a tree, he imposes a man-made falsity,

He sees saleable lumber, his mortgaged house,

A fence or a gambling casino copied

From a Gothic Cathedral.


I saw in fork of a tree, a golden snake.

I wanted to trade my BMW

For his golden foot tracks.

I gazed at gold and green,

The snake surrounded by lichen.

I saw spirals that refused to become circles

Lassoes, or crowns.  When

The green sea of the grass opens

For the golden snake to crawl,

His body touches the earth.

Harmonizes with the earth,

His scales hear the authentic wisdom

Spoken underground by pearly savant worms.





Under a clock, a replica of a knight

Lance-knocking off another knight

In the Grand Square of Munich,

A platform built to protest a war.

There is much joy in the protest

About this war that no seems

To understand what is about

Or that their life-style and beliefs

Were the real cause of the war.

Much guitar playing, people shaking,

Much marijuana smoke.

I far away hear the joyous noise.

I gaze at rainbow streaked water

Rippled by wind in a marble fountain

Designed for short German dogs

To drink from. I listen to the sounds

Of dogs lapping water. The sounds

are strange sounds, sounds

Never heard before—mystic sounds.

The sounds fill my inwardness

With a color, a color that resembles

A bizarre Matisse sea color—

A color not of an actual sea,

But a color that expresses

The sea better than the actual sea.

I am standing by a sea, a sea

That is not a sea, but a hyper-sea.

The dogs lapping water go away.

I am cast back into the unreality

Of the man-created world.





Sipping by Trajan column in Rome, Campari

The west wind compose rain drops atop

Plate glass—composition shaped

Like crystal orchid.  I gaze at the art work

Through my Campari.  The whiteness changes to

The color of lips that float in a Magritte paining.

I gaze at reflection at glass-covered pink marble.

Now two pinks, pink above pink.

The scene erased the sounds of horns and motors

Of the small cars and shouting drivers.

I was living in a double pinkness.

Something never experienced before.

Everything was pianissimo.

I was feeling an intense rapture,

And the reality of this rapture

Made me wonder what number Pythagoras

Would use to diminish my intense reality.





Circa 4 Am I was dreaming of a girl

Who called her umbrella a “parasol.”

Then my dream shifted from a moon

That was shaped like a dog and barked

Another shift:  the scene resembled

A B movie made during the “30’s”

About Colonial Africa. Spears,

Whose shafts were bird-feather

Decorated pointed at my eyes.

I saw no one was holding the spears,

Then the faces Levinas talks about

Came into view.  Levinas alterity faces

Were spotted with white commas.

White dashes.  The faces spit,

Growled, threated ostracism.

Then a Chief appeared,  I think

He was African, but might have been

Native American.  He raised his tomahawk

Blade toward my nose.

I wanted to cancel this unsound night sleep.

So I told the Chief, a joke

I had heard on a late night show.

The Chief laughed and laughed,

Repeated the joke several times,

High-fived me, and said “Cool,”

Handed me my pardon from my life sentence.

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