After a Night Shift

Squall rolling through town 
like a freight train hauling tons of iron 

after a night of shipping damaged parts 
to the war machine, dangerous hope again 

dawn-cinched over brittle nerves. His eyes 
carry empty cups down the alley between 

work and dream, pausing to check 
the depth of blue, tongue gathering vowels 

like agates soon tumbled into greater beauty 
across a page or two before sleep. 

He side-steps a herd of commuters, 
rain dulls the edges created by light 

as they hunch and tunnel through murk, 
boxed headlines increasing the casualty rate. 

Dark kings and queens dancing backwards 
on the grave of dreams as pawns are prepped 

for combat, calls for volunteers being answered, 
sung within the dark geometry of power lines. 

The young discovering alternate truths 
miles beyond a well-plumbed mirage, 

ankle-deep in blood. Riverfront shortcut 
to bus-stop, see the sunflower bent to wet earth.

About the Poet Charles Thielman:

Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., moved to Chicago, educated at red-bricked universities and on city streets, Charles has enjoyed working as a counselor, truck driver, city bus driver and enthused bookstore clerk.

Married on a Kauai beach in 2011, a loving Grandfather for five free spirits, my work as Poet and shareholder in an independent Bookstore’s collective continues! A video of Charles reading at Tsunami Books:

And not a few of his other poems have been accepted by literary journals, such as The Pedestal, Gangway, Gargoyle, Poetry365, The Criterion [India], Poetry Salzburg [Austria], The Oyez Review, Windfall [Oregon], Muse, Battered Suitcase, Poetry Kanto [Japan], Open Road, Poetry Kit and Pastiche [England], Belle Reve, Tiger’s Eye and Rusty Nail.