Grandaddy, What Do We Do? by Robert Lashley

Editor Robert Lashley, Poetry, August 22nd, 2017

"Spend your days under watch for unseen eye"

Robert Lashley Poem About Charlottesville Nailed Magazine
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A poem by Robert Lashley.

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Grandaddy, What Do We Do?

 

Do not despair of the ship in spite of the journey.
Do not despair of the toil in figured days
………………..in new-lit lakes of fire.
Spend your days under watch for unseen eyes
in spite of darkness and shelters.

Do not despair of the arc with no sigh of the covenant.
Do not despair of the covenant with no sigh of the rainbow
………………..and its alms against a sea of troubles,
those rivers that burn in the known and unknowns
………………..in furnaces transfigured to tents.

Believe in getting up without sight of the morning.
Believe in sight without promise of the day.
Days have no homes, no tidings and kinfolk
………………..in the starless, icy sky.
The unseen will deliver what the body denies
………………..in the peril of what is visible.

Believe in the news that doesn’t transform to gallows.
Believe in the words that withstand through cohesion
………………..in how new and old they are,
the reverb that rises above plastic speakers
locked in the basins of their raised hands.
Lock nothing of your soul in despair of the wrecks
………………..but make the journey back to babel,
the way out of no way in the blindly led hour
in books writ from humanism’s Bic.
In towers broke, rebuild with the stock
that contains life’s muscle memory.

Do not despair of the lost tree of life.
Do not weep for its rarified air.
Till the garden and the food you grew
………………..and the moments you were there.

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Header image courtesy of Kwesi Abbensetts. To view his photo essay, “Blood Memory,” go here.

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Robert Lashley

Robert Lashley is the author of The Homeboy Songs (Small Doggies Press, 2014). A semi finalist for the PEN/Rosenthal fellowship, Lashley has had poems and essays published in such Journals as Feminete, No Regrets, NAILED, and Your Hands, Your Mouth. His work was also featured in Many Trails To The Summit, an anthology of Northwest form and Lyric poetry. To quote James Baldwin, he wants to be an honest man and a good writer.