April Poetry Month (Day 19): Greg L. Flegel #npm16 #wppoets

[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]


Greg L Flegel is an accountant and poet – both practiced in many media. He was born and raised in Milwaukee, proud graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran High School, then Ripon College with a liberal arts degree in English and Theatre, and later achieved an online master’s degree in accounting. This year he got married to Rich Greene, his wonderful partner of 18 years. Enjoys pandering to his two dogs and serving as a board member for Woodland Pattern.




Memorial Day 1997  

We celebrate death
like it’s a sudden breath, or
sacred waters where we’re born.
We swim in it –
Canalled into reservoirs,
called by “Glory” and “Honor”.

Boys my age daydream
of dipping in this still
cool lake, stirring to homo-
hoping some decrepit chunk
clings to their fresh round fingers.

On their tongue it’s sweet
as righteousness or anger,
upheld in bright yellowed glass.
demands a lemon fresh line.
Desperate memory clutches;

extends false senses;
warps, dilutes, makes communal
and a game of gaudy grief.
Dead meat slaps on
the grill. Smoke extends over
the lake. Boys play War, laughing.

Walking Writing Rain Falling Fog Lifting

Coffee bubbles and burns,
Only my soul boils over –
A dark frothy head oozes
Onto stove or street top,
the already charred bottom.

I roll out.
The gray God-fallen
Fog softens my steps,
Softens this my journal,
Softens time as I
walk from the gauze of fog
Into careless rain.

If this pen worked perfectly
Would I catch every
Thought? Or is it
Always like holding paper
Out in the rain: catching
Drops, ink smearing ….

And why are my feet so heavy, so sodden my soul,
Even in this fog, this rain, this paper, this pen.

The Way to Work

The only easy thing is down:
the easy bend of light,
bending red,
steady as the morning star.
Venus hangs in the east,
like a symbol,
just out of reach.

My eyelids weigh heavy
as thick smoke floating down,
clouding the blue at the edge
of sunrise. Quietest bus ride.

People’s artificial light
shatters darkness again and
often until the sun overcomes
us. My stop passes me by.


[April Poetry Month 2016 Table of Contents]

Woodland Pattern is nonprofit book center in the heart of Riverwest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We are dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and the arts.