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Wayne Mason
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Cries of the World

 

by Wayne Mason

 

 

A young monk

suddenly enlightened

upon meditating

on every sound

was dubbed  Kannon

after the goddess

of compassion

 

Hearer of

cries of

the world

 

Kannon is the name

I mutter to remind me

the world is crying

 

Sometimes life outside

these factory walls

is drowned out

by a deafening roar

of tired machinery

and I need a little

reminder

 

I mutter

Kannon

 

Somewhere someone

goes to bed hungry

someone lays their head

to dream on cold concrete

 

A car bomb

goes off in Bagdhad

 

Somewhere

a child is dying

 

Somewhere

far away from here

where we die in

little ways everyday

in comfortable homes

and dingy production floors

where at least we

get a paycheck

to give away

 

And everyday

six days a week

I clock out and

leave the chaos

behind

 

Head home in

a car that at least runs

to clear my head

with cheap beer

and grimy factory fingers

slamming the keys

deep into the night

 

Meanwhile

somewhere

reading a poem

is an act of

rebellion

 

I mutter

 

Kannon

Kannon

Kannon

 

Dead Man Walking, Working, Breathing

 

Wayne Mason

 

 

When I was a

know-it-all kid

I swore I’d be dead

before twenty-one

 

I suppose it

was wishful thinking

 

And now at thirty-three

my heart is still beating

and I still feel like

that dumb kid

 

Still thinking about

death

 

The grandparents

are ash, my folks

slowly disappearing

behind a sea of wrinkles

and gray hair

 

In the mirror I’m

a caricature of

myself

 

The funny thing is

the Mason clan

are a stubborn bunch

and live way longer than

anyone should

 

My grandfather smoked

three packs a day and

drank wine like a fish

for half his life

 

And at eighty-eight

as he clung to life and

watched life go by from

his front porch rocking chair

the cancer eating away his insides

his grandkids’ kids grown up

and his wife long gone

 

I visited him

the day before he died

and we sat side by side

on the front porch

watching life go by

mostly silent

 

There was no life left

but no hurry to die

looking back now

I guess he knew

we were already

 

dead

 

Wayne Mason is a writer and factory worker from central Florida. When he grows up he wants to be Kannon. His work has been published throughout the small press and he is author of the chapbook, Every Day is Labor Day from Scintillating Publications. You can check out more of his stuff at http://guerrillapoetics.com

 

 

 

 

In Association with Fossil Publications