Guest Poet Mark D. Warren

Delicate Quandary

Words compelled through pen
return the power of moment,
pain of memory, pull hard
at eyes and hearts, inject
reflection back again....
...record or release?

Childhood days so
thought awash with
seeming ready praise rest easy
in their night -- their grave
that gave no cause that
others turn again the dirt
examining remains, the pit
yet filled with pressing
bloody stains, gasping
mouths agape await their
moment to be almost heard,
their groping words...
....record or release?

So delicate the quandary
winds, fills the minds
of poets seeking peace;
that greater pain --
the darker stain demands
an ear yet rips it in the telling,
fouls the ink, composure
turns away until another
darker day commands...
...record or release?

Written on the breath
of verse is every blessing
missing, every holy curse
and passion best forgotten,
raised again to magnify
the haunting hour Goliath
challenged and won.

December, 1997

Mark D. Warren's Questions:

1. This poem is supposed to speak of those memories that resurrect themselves begging to be recorded, whatever the cost. Does that come across too vaguely?

2. Is the reference to Goliath actually winning (we know he lost) a strong enough clue as to the pain the memories inflict?

Correspond with Mark D. Warren at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop