Kenneth Weene, Pride and prejudice, again

Kenneth Weene’s poem Pride apparently has nothing to do with marching through San Francisco in a parade I witnessed on June 28th. The pride on display there was rather gay, and the marchers lionized. Kenneth, I believe, refers to something a bit more bleak.

Pride

by Kenneth Weene

 

They gather again

driven by thirst and memory

pawing the dirt

grumbling growls

until the earth shakes

and drought cracked ground

coughs up a dry red dust.

 

They gather again

their plaint bitter against the heat

the sun un-listening

the night un-caring

the creeping desert blowing south

covering…uncovering bones of dead.

 

They gather again

fewer, desperate,

still the urge revives

even if the young perish

before they can savor breath

or suck their mothers’ dry teats.

 

And, at the end,

sand covered world

death colored world

silent blowing sand

they will no longer come

they will not gather again

Pride (2014) Poster

10 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    “Pride” is a brilliant perfection of meter, phrases turned and economy-cut to the dry bones of the reality that death is more powerful than even the will to survive.

  2. Mike Casper says:

    I liked it, especially the bleak line about the wind’s ‘covering…uncovering’. Bleak. That’s what I took from the story. It’s quite good.
    On the down side, no offense, I gotta tell ya, without the lion pic I wouldn’t have thought this story was about lions.

  3. Laura G says:

    This poem has layers and double meanings, which is always interesting. When you mention uncovering bones of the dead, I think of elephants, who have been found to mourn over bones. I didn’t realize lions did this. The drought imagery goes beyond Africa to the climate change situation, so for anyone concerned about the current state of nature, this is a fitting poem!

  4. Tiffany V says:

    This is a powerful piece. It walks with a good cadence, and then turns with noble steps through the images and phrasing. My fave lines:

    the creeping desert blowing south

    covering…uncovering bones of dead.

    Not that death (or life for that matter) is uncaring, but that it just *is*, and doesn’t defer to its dance partner, no matter how intimate the joining. Beautiful man. For real.

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