Clinton Inman



Just Like Us


From one to six we will let you play with blocks and sticks

then you will be ours. We will teach you to be our kind of Mensch

as you color everything chain link grey. We will erase all magic

inside of you. With picture ID and major credit and number 2 pencil

you will be like us pushing and shoving all the way up to barely alive.

 


 

 

Front Page Girl

Just a bag of clues is all you are,

Just a bit of bone, a cut of cloth,

Wild dogs took all the rest.

Like some grisly jigsaw pieced upon

A table they now call you Jane.

But I knew it was really you.

Sketch artist captured well

That girlish grin I thought Iíd

Never see again until your

Composite un-identified you:

Front page girl, eighteen to twenty-one.

You know we searched for you

Day and night, night and day

Until they gave up and thought

You had really run away.

But I knew it took more than snow

To cover you that day not even

Your horoscopes could predict.

But from that cut of cloth the trail

Of footprints follow from fibers

You left behind upon the front seat

From the only sweater you had owned,

Though badly burned it could not hide,

And was more than enough to show--

Now your forensic fingers finally point

To the one who had really lied.




 

Diana (Moon)
 

Drag your white skull beyond blind seas

That tumble dazed to you mono-eyed magic.

Go tell Neptune when the night is through.

Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning.

But you canít catch me with those veiled half smiles.

Your borrowed brilliance exposes you.

I know your darker side.

Go charm some other star struck rhapsodist.

 


 

 

Lightless

Each year the light is less.

We can barely see it now,

The faint necklace of

The Milky Way.

 

The old ones were wrong,

You know with their waxed fingers

Pointing up like abandoned adobe.

Yet you know better in your cubical gardens

And half moth-eaten moons,

You have arrived in

Handcuffs.

 

 


 

Diamond Moon

 

I double humped round in roses

Charm some vision in a paper cup.

Old Orestes from a diamond moon
Rises from stained glass to find

No meaning beyond my movement

But only when worlds collide

Will the silence of my Trojan Seas

Protect me from his desert sands.

I am now an o-as-is only

But dare drink my deeper waters

You last king in a sandmanís dust.

 

 

 

 

Reply of an Athlete

 

Yes there was a time I had won a race

As they chaired me shoulder high

Up and down through a market place

And past the place where I now lie.

 

For I knew then and so did she

How frail the strings of mortality

As a widowed mother wished me stay

At home and nurse the time away.

 

But you do not know why I ran,

Not to defend some challenge cup

Not for laurels nor to prove a man

And not for the record still pinned up.

 

The rows of pictures on the piano

Top have hardly moved to show

One last smile from one smart lad

Who had won one for dear old dad.

 


Copyright © 2011 Clinton Inman

 


Clinton Inman
was born in England and is a high school teacher in Tampa Bay. He has aspired to Renaissance ideals in his life by writing numerous poems, three plays (one enacted). His recent anthropology publication can be found at the Internet Journal of Biological Anthropology. He has been a portrait painter for many years; one of his paintings hangs in the Huntington Museum in San Marino. He has learned to play the piano, and is an amateur astronomy and avid fossil hunter. But his greatest accomplishment, besides making an difference to his students, has been his poetry. He is married and lives in Sun City Center.