Poet Diane Kemp invites you to share the emotions of her poetry, from pain to triumph, from heartbreak to joy, from fear to promise....

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Silk Purse Poems by Diane Kemb, a collection of poetry for you to enjoy! The Medical Arts
Lowlands
The Walk
Sloth
Bitter Awakening
Songs of Sorrow
Job’s Derelict
It’s All a Matter of Time
Beast of Burden
Night Thing
Please Somebody, Read This Poem
Dusk
Nightmare Inheritance

Depression’s Child
The Ghosts
   

THE MEDICAL ARTS

Potted rubber plants
Hint of ether
Efficient nurse

People deep inside their shell
Pictures no one's home would have
Spotless
Sterile
Air-conditioned.

The facts explained
The time determined
Everything they can do . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The Doctor will see you now"

Nov. 73
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LOWLANDS

Searching my still house,
Blowing dust from old treasures,
Putting them by with a sigh;
At empty windows
Faded drapes stand sentinel
And the day is nothing.

Aug. 74
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THE WALK

So will I carry this Golgotha to the grave ?
Its weight is heavy,
       My muscles weak
With overstrain from infancy.

Tho’ often I try
         to throw this curse aside;
I never throw it far enough.

Soon, again it gathers round me
           like a misty cloud of cold
And shivering I carry on
             my weighted walk through life.

Sept. 74
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SLOTH

Slug,
Sliding through the hours
Drugged on a droning radio;
Head fogged in nothingness
Deeper,
Deeper
into
Catatonic
Sloth.

March 74
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BITTER AWAKENING

Bitter awakening
You call your awful colors;

I deign a smile,
Shrugging off your taste,
Explaining motive,
Minding you unreal.

Still
You call.

Grasping other thoughts
I push beyond
The insistence of your claim.

And yet your call grows stronger.

Hard,
Heavy,
Acrid;
I vomit up the pressure.

I vomit,
I vomit til the retching dulls my vigor.

Jan. 74
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SONGS OF SORROW


Songs of sorrow
Fill the hearts
Of those who dare to dream.

Dreaming is the work of fools,
Unstable folk
Who will not understand
the world is dull.

Run fool,
Wave your heart about;
Dream that life
will rally to your call.

Then sit alone
And wonder why
Your fellows will not dream.

Sing your yearning
your sad
and sorrowing song.

May 74
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JOB'S DERELICT

Back from hell
He stands
His catatonic watch.

His cavernous eyes
Reverberate a blankness
Consuming insanities
That echo soundless
Unheeded rings of torture

in his vacant skull.

April '75
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IT’S ALL A MATTER OF TIME

There are some who seem to sense my trouble

Like wolves

Who smell the weakened deer

And cut it from the herd.


And, when my back is turned

In some disquietude

They pounce upon me

Gnawing at my weakness

Intent upon my ultimate surrender


You know,

Someday,

They’ll get me.

Feb. 75
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BEAST OF BURDEN

The yoke

Hand hewn

Slips

Back and forth

Upon the steady ache.

The cross

The parent’s folly

Plodded

Endlessly

Across another day.

Jan. 75
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NIGHT THING

Terror

At the window

Screaming

Frantic banging, jumping,

Clawing for release.


Death

At my shoulder

Grip constricting

Jugular horror

Oh black, black horror !

Nov. 76
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PLEASE SOMEBODY, READ THIS POEM

There would be people
Standing in my empty house
Bringing flowers,
Speaking softly,
Contemplating bits of goodness
Scattered through my life

Were I to die.

But breath denies my dying.
Tho’ death’s tight grip o’erwhelms
Tho’ every struggle
Brings a new dimension of my helplessness;

Silence
Is the sound of my despair
And no one hears my anguish.

Please, God,
If there were only funerals for the living.

Feb. 77
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DUSK

The earth’s shroud
Creeps along the barren hills.
Dampness
Rises from the day’s remains.
The grave
Sits open, waiting and alone.
And darkness takes forever . . . . . . . .


Sept. '78
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NIGHTMARE INHERITANCE

There’s no escape
Not among the trees
                away from insult,

    Nor nestled in my quilt at night
         Where peace and safety used to be.

Nor with loving friends.

For this is closer than my skin
           Permanent and monstrous.
A violence upon nature
  And curse upon my soul.

Fit only for a Dali painting.

And should I scream ‘til heaven shudders
Apply the limits
          of my strength, my will, intelligence and wisdom
It will not budge.

This lifelong draining wound upon my spirit

Conceived in error
                     and lived in hell.

March '90
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DEPRESSION’S CHILD


Innocence,

The flavour of my youth

Imposed a hidden price.

For such naiveté

I lost my soul’s protection

And bled my spirit

Over all the pages of my life.


For I believed

Trust given was returned,

Words of all romantic songs

were true,

Smiles meant kindness,

And drums and bugles

Had no other call but honour,

Sacrifice was kept in an account,

Hard work was paid for

And justice was protected by the law.


And now,

Too late

I know it isn’t true.

Another set of values rules.

Business is business.

Keep your eye on the bottom line.

Power is all and

To the victors go the spoils.

Admit nothing

And cover your ass.


Too late,

I cannot make the switch.


In school

I should have read ‘The Prince’

And styled my life from there.

Instead,

I thrilled to Churchill’s words

And fed on Keats

and Shakespeare.


Too late,

Too late . . . . . . . . . . .

Nov. 90
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THE GHOSTS

Yes,

They’ll haunt me.


When evening falls too early

On an empty day,

Or when friends are deaf.

When muscles loosen in fatigue

Or illness.

Then

They will invade my spirit

Chanting

My hopelessness.

Dec. 90
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