The Divine Flaw
by Ward Kelley
I look into the face of the Almighty --
how I got here is another poem or two --
and where I had expected to see the expanse
of history, the breadth of the universe or
knowledge incomprehensible, there was
a surprise along with the grandeur that comes
by creating all that we poor humans can ever
see or think, for God was not happy but instead
appeared to be crying. Humans, created in the
image, have the divine flaw too -- they suffer
while also charged with making sense from all
their suffering. And if we understand the task,
we can then see how we are perfect, or godlike, for
this particular chore. God cries in response to this
creation; we hope . . . and become the darlings of it all.
How Elderly Women Breathe
by Ward Kelley
Resigned tastefully, the approach is intended
even though the danger is clear; life exhibits
mercy less than any other virtue, still there is
little need for hurry. The air can be tasted, and
memories served like sacred dishes; she knows
life can be refined or strained through the colander
of childbirth. This is how our women will at last
civilize the species, although it's not yet halfway.
A Ghost to the Flesh
by Ward Kelley
Love is that which binds us, one soul
to another . . . and time is that which bends
us, one soul hurtling, one catching.
Love is an ember which smolders
forever before it explodes, but one
cannot light it or fan it, it has a time
of its own, a mystery to even itself.
Time is the silent sister of love, she
is always there, a clear shadow,
a ghost to the flesh of love who
will haunt you and trouble you
invisibly, and only when you grow
accustomed to her bedevilment --
when you suspect she never existed
at all -- only then will she explode
the ember and set you afire.
Love and time, they whisper together.
As for me, I'm a 51 year old business executive with 3,600 people in the division
reporting to me. I only mention this because in a sense the daimon that propels
my occupation also propels my poetry. For instance, Gertrude Stein once said, "If
Mr. Robert Frost is at all good as a poet, it is because he is a farmer -- really
inhis mind a farmer, I mean." So in my mind am I a businessman who writes poetry,
or a very minor poet successful at business? Who knows? Yet I tread carefullywith
this balance for fear my daimon will leave me, or my greed will taunt me for decades.
Formerly I managed distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Arizona
and Illinois. My wife and I now live outside of Indianapolis and are currentlytoiling
with much determination on our second crop of children, having adopted four wonderful
girls and fostered several others. -W.K.
Ward Kelley has seen more than 1100 of his poems appear in journals world wide. A
Pushcart Prize nominee, Kelley's publication credits include such journals as: ACM
Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Zuzu's Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Spillway,
Pif, 2River View, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, West by Northwest.org, The Animist,
Offcourse, Potpourri and Skylark. Recently he was the recipient of the Nassau Review
Poetry Award for 2001. Kelley is the author of two paperbacks: "histories of
souls," a poetry collection, and "Divine Murder," a novel; he also
has an epic poem, "comedy incarnate" on CD and CD ROM.