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Two Poems By Duane Locke





Begging never brought
A desirable result,
Only appeased the refuser.
But the supplication was subtle,
Somewhat esoteric, somewhat hermetic.
What wanted to be spoken

Went unspoken, became something else.
This is why it is imagined a chariot
Is driven, not a car with an
Automatic transmission.
Hooves ahead, four white,
Black horses gallop on the boulevard.
The reflections on her emerald earrings
Revealed that I had three faces.



A Green Seed


A green seed pod that did not fall
During redness and winter
Stays near the cypress tip.


I see all what I once believed
Gathering in a group on the horizon
To dance towards oblivion.


But these beliefs are not unhappy
Being no longer believed by me,
For these beliefs will be believed by others,



Find more expensive, congenial homes.
I am sad I believed these beliefs,
For it meant I would never drip paint in a barn.


But casting away these beliefs I became
Aware of the visions that emanate from eroded gullies.

Duane Locke shares...

DUANE LOCKE lives near a lake in (the appropriately named) Lakeland, Florida. The lake is abundant with anhingas, herons, egrets, coots, ducks, gallinules, etc.  According to Duane, as of February 2007, he's had thousands of poems published in print magazines and e zines. A painter and photographer and has had many exhibitions. 


A lover of philosophy, he is currently making a study of Kant and Hegel.  Everyday, he watches a DVD of a Shakespeare play.  Also listens to audio books and among them are: Plato's The Republic, Walter Pater's the Renaissance, Virginia Woolf's and Kafka's novels.


Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy, English Renaissance literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. 


The author's words on motivation for these poems follow.


“It is extremely difficult, as difficult as it is to understand myself, to know the motivation of why I write poems.  My poems leap from nowhere, leap spontaneously. The poems come as naturally as breathing, more naturally for I have asthma. The only motivation I can detect is my dedication to a life of hedonism, the seeking of eudemonia, and the greatest pleasure I have found in life is the writing of poems.


I never start a poem with a preconception, or any form of planning.  The poems happen as if they were miracles, but as David Hume would say it is because I do not yet know the natural laws that brought them into existence. I find writing poems very easy, much easier that carrying on an ordinary conversation or participating in any quotidian, practical activity.


In "Begging" the opening line leaped into my mind when randomly, I had the insight that all social life is a form of begging. The other lines followed through rapid association. In "Green Seeds" I recalled a winter-red cypress with which one branch had kept its spring-green seed, and the started, the other lines quickly followed.