The Sunday Poem: Stavros Cockrell . . . A Quiet War


The murmur of morning on a.m. streets;
                                    Brisk air, dew rising.
The soft distance of a bird’s wing flapping.
The sky is a beautiful blue today.
Twenty-Somethings ride in their 4x4s.
City buses make their regular stops.
A woman reads a Michael Crichton novel
at a fast food Mexican Restaurant.
The woman behind the counter takes
cash only & gives back
exact change; she is cordial – apologetic
that the speaker in the drive-thru is

Car washers hold their towels waiting
for the next ticket to pass through the line
& empty it’s metal body from the electronic bath.
Sunlight rips
            across wet spots reflecting a golden ray awakening.

A man returns
a piece of paper to a trash
receptacle that he missed
the first time. A voice inside is happy
to see him chase it down
in a lithe wind.

The Sandias seem soft – hazy.
like a blanket on the beach from eyes
immersed in water. Traffic lights shift
from one color to the next – unhurried.
on their regular programming:
Peaceful Green.
Peaceful Yellow.
Peaceful Red.

Every now & then a plane can be heard overhead.
Its engine coming....
....and then....

It is unlike some places.
With the television off who would know?
Peaceful Green.
Peaceful Yellow.
Peaceful Red.

Stavros Cockrell.
Poems Smuggled from the Amerikkkan Empire (2004)

Stavros' very productive years in Albuquerque are behind him now . . . but his books Blood Junkie, Love in Vein and Dead Girl are evidence he's actively writing "bloody good fiction" . . . the poem here came out in a book of his produced in Albuquerque . . . and his monumental .Committing Poetry In Times Of War September 2004 – August 2007 is an award winning feature documentary chronicling events in Albuquerque, where a teacher was fired over a poem and peaceful protesters were assaulted by police in 2003. Thank you Stavros for the use of this poem which remains timely . . . photo above by Alethera Devary.

Larry Goodell (guest editor)

Do tell your friends to look for poetry here every Sunday and link to the poem when you can. Poetry submissions are welcome, in fact needed. Email or

Views: 183

Comment by Johnny_Mango on October 27, 2013 at 8:40am

What a great piece, reflecting the strange peacefulness of our countryside and how it affects our day to day business.

Comment by larry goodell on October 27, 2013 at 9:10am

and we go about our "peaceful" business while we are responsible for 39% of the world's military and, in spite of scaling down, we still lose young men & women. . .

Comment by Margaret Randall on October 27, 2013 at 10:03am

Very evocative poem, juxtaposing a bucolic scene with an undercurrent of heavier issues. Thanks.

Comment by Kim Adonna on October 27, 2013 at 11:47am

Beautiful.  Absolutely so.  


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