I was at the Richmond (VA) Slam this last Saturday night and I will say if you ever have a chance to go to one, take it. I witnessed some amazing performances by poets of diverse ages and backgrounds, even getting the opportunity to be a judge for the slam portion.
Mark hails from Detroit, and has several books out, recently publishing The Line Between, which focuses on what we do on that line between the day we were born and the day we are done. In the front of the book Mark writes, "As is his style Durfee writes not pretty poetry but is as honest with his words as as his grandmother was in her love," which I think is why I like his work so much.
Put Your Gifts Under Your Litter
In the land of the ice and cold
where the anger burns
blistering and steamy
we look at living trees
with frost blown breath
and regard them as perfect
where they stand.
I watch as we cut them down
by our own hand to die in our houses.
We festoon the green and steal the scent
with spirit of graciousness gone tragic,
with good living for “the children.”
There is an ocean of plastic
floating on the earth and I need
to take more life and it desecrate
to make my place prettier
for a couple of weeks
rather than use the litter I helped create?
If a tree makes you feel joyfully,
if the masters of the underworld
can inject beef flavor callously
into your McDonald's hamburger
I am certain they can inject a fabulous
fake pine scent to make the season go further
into your recycled plastic reusable dead already tree.
Every single piece O green,
be it a blade of grass,
flower coming to bud,
weed or tree
is needed now to be left in its place.
That is if we,
the human race
are going to continue to be
able to breathe.
© M Durfee