Monday, June 26, 2006

Thomas D. Lisk

Dr. Lisk is one of the finest educators I've ever met. He is also one hell of an underappreciated poet. Here are some of his best. I hope you like them.
Metaphors and Sausage

After a long search we chose a new father.
From more than a hundred
letters of application and résumés,
we determined twelve
we wanted to know in careful detail.
From the dozen dossiers,
we chose a brace of five to speak to face to face.
They were all different.
One declared that he would be a real boss, a dictator.
We would always know exactly where we stood with him.
He didn't make the short-short list.
Another claimed to be a good listener,
but spoke mostly of himself.
His own work was obviously
more important than our well-being.
Though some of us believed he was our man
he too sank among the dossiers.

The one we chose seemed kind and gentle,
but with a roughish, manly edge.
And he looked like a father.
(We decided on gender as a pre-requisite—
we wanted a male—
but to be as objective as possible
we did not consider sex.)
Though when we interviewed we emphasized
we wanted to run things, as soon as he
was on the job a movement grew,
wanting him to assume complete responsibility.

Speech, Speech
From Free Speech - an NCSU Poetry Journal

To speak of fleeting Percivals
is never the work of a moment
but an undertaking
that must be undertaken
in due course and with a full sense
of the gravity of the occasion.
Nothing has,
and inevitably must again,
come of less.

The hall will, on that
august occasion, resound
anew with cheers to hearten
a heartless nation, now, alas,
bent a course that may
in the fullness of time
be vindicated, but which,
for the nonce, must seem
to the thoughtful observer
self-destructive, to say the least.

An uncanny wind blows through
these affairs, riffling the numeral cards
on the far scoreboard, cards
lifted by a blunt hook
on a birchwood pole
some three
or four meters in length,
a pole
whose outer integument
might once have skinned
a lacustrine canoe.

Whose canoe, one is not
at liberty to divulge.

Thank you, thank you,
thank you, you have been,
as always, too
kind, too kind,
too kind.
Enjoy the poems. Submit a poet if you like, or contact me to learn more about any of the poets listed here.