power and conviction

Klaus J. Gerken

how the mask of torment tears the pallid face apart
and refuses the sun to even lighten a fallen heart
is it crass to think the world an evil place
where war and famine extol the legacy of the human race
where clouds of pollution ravage what was once a holy land
i fail to see how anyone can follow such a mean command
such subtle fools the leaders of the world become
when they fall into the trap of power on their throne

there’s a price to pay for everything the sages say
i’m sure there is but how do you point towards the way
that leads to betterment rather than decay
it starts with purpose and conviction yet for some
the purpose more than the conviction comes undone
we plow ahead to our misfortune ever blindly on the run

kjg 1105am 14 nov 2014


Klaus J. Gerken

i was late
for the appointment
quite on purpose
i might add
there were angels
in the alley
and a rabbit
in my hat

no one knew me
where saints gathered
it was something
of a deal
i mean really
what can happen
when i have no
soul to steal

bring me paper
bring me cotton
bring me bitter
wine to drink
i will always
be here waiting
on the brink

so forgive me
if i wander
off the muddy
beaten path
i will never
never ever
quite surrender
what i have

kjg 911am 12 nov 2014


Klaus J. Gerken

waiting for what
for the end to come
remember barbara
in brest that day
the rain caught us
unexpected in a downpour
strangers meeting
randomly in a random street
that was a kind of waiting
waiting for the rain to stop
the war to end
we were all tired
two strangers huddled together
by happenchance
do you remember barbara
it was so long ago
so very far away
prevert wrote a poem about it
you were wearing a heavy shawl
and carrying a basket of baguettes
my raincoat was heavy from the rain
and the water dripped from my hat
you seemed a bit embarrassed
that a stranger should join you suddenly
and you let out a little gasp
do you remember barbara
i cannot forget
when the soldiers came
and just before they took you away
never to be seen again
you called to me
my name is barbara
remember me
they let me go because i was german
soon the rain stopped
and i went on my way
to a little bistro right around the corner
to meet a friend
did they take her
yes they took her
let’s eat
we leave for berlin tonight

kjg 439pm 14 nov 2014


Klaus J. Gerken

the statutes of deliverance don’t move
they are solid forms like marble angels
in the vatican proud to be on display
only the devil can bring them to life

there is no such thing as understanding
there is only the interpretation
the simple fool will laugh at anything
the madman laughs at nothing

the presumption of innocence is not a fact
but a false accusation
the cup is passed from mouth to mouth

in the wild hemlock grows and is not poison
only laws can make it poison
and there is no substitution for deliverance

kjg 517pm 14 nov 2014



Klaus J. Gerken

ah i see so many out there
who don’t understand
i am afraid for the world
it’s out of control
the republicans have the senate
and obama’s drowning on appeal
the slaughter of innocents continues
and fear is rampant everywhere
the beautiful people are all gone
or have become slaves of the dalai lama
i am not one to offer a solution
if a song would do i’d gladly sing it
but i am old and wrinkled
and youth must plow the soil themselves
to plant the seeds of tomorrow
there is nothing more for me to say
the truth i have discovered no one wants to hear
and that’s a blessing in disguise
for those who take comfort in the wise

kjg 450am 7 nov 2014

Klaus J. Gerken is on Facebook. Contact him on kgerken@synapse.net and read latest poems in Ygdrasil – a Journal of the poetic Arts.