- Rock Zen #11
“They say that in war/
Truth be the first casualty.”
—One Day As a Lion
You can’t let the truth be
an end to your means. It’s only
a doorway out to open field.
Let them break it down. You don’t
need a door to find the field.
2. Rock Zen #12
“I’ll measure time. I’ll measure height./
I’ll calculate my birthright.”
No formula exists to extrapolate
a person’s worth from the volume
of their skull. Fill the bone
with pellets if you must. Measure
circumference. It will only tell hat size.
3. Rock Zen #13
“Stay inside, it’s as safe as you can get.”
Safety is only a construct of the human mind,
like your seat being a flotation device
in the event of a water landing.
You’ll most likely swallow 600 times
tomorrow. Just try your best not to choke.
4. Rock Zen #14
“The news is just another show
With sex and violence.”
Occasionally, hope pokes its head
out of the news’ hole to check
on things. Like when that whale
had a new pup after carrying her
dead one around for 17 days.
5. Rock Zen #15
“You are broken now, but faith can heal you/
Just do everything I tell you to do.”
Breathe. That’s it. And blink to keep
your eyes moist. There will be times
when you’ll have to take a step forward,
but not many. Remember, pieces are only
pieces because they were whole once.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, saltfront, and other journals. His latest collection is No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, 2018). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.
image: Lindsay Hargrave