Friday, 21 August 2020 09:01

Pounding on the door of Kafka's Castle

Written by
in Poetry
Pounding on the door of Kafka's Castle

Pounding on the door of Kafka's Castle

by Fred Voss

Once we were men with opposable thumbs we grabbed
sticks and stuck them down anthills
we grabbed berries women hourglasses formulas
and mushroom clouds
we grabbed onto ideas
like balloons carrying us high above
the dirty earth
we got excited
and built churches and gallows and insane asylums and bag factories
we grabbed continents
and said, “The sky’s the limit!” and hit a golf ball across the moon but we couldn’t let go
of gods
mirrors prejudices machine guns 24-hour news channels giant cups
of Coca Cola steering wheels
of earthmovers rolling on giant tires and knocking down
ancient mountains
we couldn’t stop
feeling more intelligent than the spider and the planet Jupiter even though
homeless women and their children were starving in an alley
outside our window
and we threw our hands up into the air and didn’t know what to do even though we could grab
microscopes and remote controls and encyclopedias as people screamed
in roller coaster cars and held
a million times more knowledge than they ever needed to know in the iphones
in their palms
as the roses opened
and the cats walked and Van Gogh painted sunflowers with a beauty
no one could really grasp
and we held our opposable thumbs up in front of our faces
and shook our heads and knew it was time
to let go
as the polar icecaps melted
and the seas clogged with plastic
time to let go
and listen to the violins
let the rocks lie in the earth laugh with a child
in a green sandbox try to unravel the mystery
of Mona Lisa’s smile follow
a John Coltrane saxophone searching for the light at the end
of civilization’s 6,000-year-old tunnel pound our fist
on the door of Kafka’s castle raise a church
to the whiteness of Moby Dick and ask the elephant
and the kettle drum and the heartbeat and the shooting star
and the man lifting the sledgehammer high above his head
we breathe.

There's an interesting interview with Fred Voss on the Ragbag podcast, here. Fred's latest collection, Robots Have No Bones, is available here.

Read 1109 times Last modified on Friday, 04 September 2020 09:14
Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 35 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books, and two by Culture Matters: The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, and Robots Have No Bones.