October Web Feature by W. Arnold Yasinski
Arnold Yasinski wrote his first poem when he was fifty years old and has
since published fifty others in American poetry journals. His first
collection of poems, Proposition, was published by 21st Century
Renaissance in Ireland (January 2020).
Staying Alive by W. Arnold Yasinski
On the other side of my new continent,
citizens are fighting an invading army,
something I’d hoped not to be alive
to see again. Here, I am listening to
the Bee Gees, driving beat, perfect
harmonies, and thumbing the famous
poetry anthology, Staying Alive, that
doesn’t seem to know it’s the title of
a Bee Gees song—life going nowhere,
somebody help me. Would that I’d be
as brave as the civilians picking up
rifles being handed out to hold off
tanks. Could I stand up for a place,
and not worrying about staying alive,
do it to give a homeland to the next
generation. Men sixteen (sic) to sixty,
women too, forcing their way into line.
All of us over sixties, we should be
the ones giving our last gasp of bravery,
or maybe a first. They do the urging
of a comedian become hero, who
by staying has created heroes to oppose
madmen led by a madman. Let them
be heroes! Let romance lift them,
even though war is never romantic.
Let them think so, if their double vision
allows them to defend their homes.
Let them believe. I can almost hear
the drums and fifes, famous marches
drowning out rifle cracks and exploding
shells; see the clouds of glory that hide
the blood, the limbs, the entrails.