Friday Poetry with James Goertel: The Lion’s Laughter

Friday Poetry with James Goertel: The Lion’s Laughter

THE LIONS’ LAUGHTER from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under the Same Moon, is the first of three poetic tributes to Charles Bukowski which will appear each Friday over the next few weeks, the last coming on Friday, March 8th in recognition of Bukowski’s passing on March 9th, 1994 at the age of 73.

Friday Poetry with James Goertel The Lion's Laughter

Charles Bukowski. Photo credit: wikipedia


(In Memory of Charles Bukowski)

Over his head,
an arc of mud-covered doves
hovered along with
the promise of release
from the harsh grip

of a life without a love.

With no time to waste
he took his time,
boozed and boxed,
danced drunk
beneath the moon
and its death pale face.

The dead of days
flowered forever in his
filthy heart until he burned
his post office letters in effigy,
at last delivering the smoke
of ambition to the stars.

Altars to the sun
in San Pedro trampled beneath
the hooves of horses he tied
his reins and dreams to,
riding nights of wine
into the ocean for a poem.

Beating back against
the crowd contented
in their faceless veil,
he kissed his madness
square upon the lips,
blood red with ferment.

Night sirens, voices caught
in dirty curtains across
a broken window, a broken world,
his back turned away from
the broken noses of gutter years,
losing himself in the roar of the lions’ laughter.

He piled the lost and found
of seven decades
into a battered box
along with a thousand poems
he meant to write
and a thousand more
he did.

Legs of lovers,
the hands of Time,
and his own lost lines like limbs
entwined beneath
dun-colored sheets of
a not-quite-cotton deathbed.

A last drag, dragged.
A final pull pulled from a bottle
holding bruised memories
and a thousand yards
of red and black
typewriter ribbon.

There is no star,
no constellation
that can hold his name
in a heaven where the gods
still laugh with the lions
he tamed with only wine-stained fingers.


James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


View Comments (1)
  • Sharon

    Amazing poem!


Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

More in Entertainment

Jonathan Russell

National Minimum Wage: How Does the Increase Affect You?

Yareah MagazineOctober 18, 2016
Mary Njoku filming for Rok Studios

Rok Studios Launches Nollywood TV Channel on Sky

Yareah MagazineSeptember 27, 2016
Vent-Axia Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Sussex-based Vent-Axia Celebrates 80 Years of Innovation

Yareah MagazineSeptember 14, 2016
Nicole Scherzinger, Joel, Ella & Murad

International Popstars DNCE And Nicole Scherzinger Amongst Performers To Take To The SSE Arena, Wembley Stage For Rays Of Sunshine Children’s Charity On Monday 24th October 2016

Yareah MagazineSeptember 9, 2016

HBO News. Bill Simmons’ lineup for tomorrow night

Yareah MagazineSeptember 6, 2016
Lord's Pavilion

As the cricket season draws to a close, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) can report a surge in popularity for guests seeking a full day of luxury hospitality at Lord’s during a Test Match in 2016. In the Home of Cricket’s most iconic venues – the Captains’ Lounge and Marylebone Suite – hospitality packages which included a hearty breakfast, sumptuous four-course lunch and luxury afternoon tea, sold out quickly for the first three days of the England v Sri Lanka and England v Pakistan Investec Test Matches. Private Boxes with the best views of the action for up to 18 guests also sold out fast for the same days. MCC revealed a sharp increase in revenue for its 2016 Sri Lanka Test Match hospitality packages compared with 2014 when the team last played England at Lord’s. Revenues for hospitality were up by nearly 30% over the same period in 2014 whilst private box sale revenues were up by a healthy 60%. Nick Kenton, MCC Head of Sales, Meetings & Events and Hospitality, said: “2016 has been a fantastic year for enjoying a day of cricket whilst experiencing the very best food, drink and hospitality that Lord’s has to offer. “This year’s sales figures show that hospitality packages at Lord’s were in huge demand and continue to be a key part of the summer sporting calendar.” Lord’s also expects high demand for its new hospitality packages, to be released this autumn for 2017 matches. These include England v South Africa from 6th to 10th July and England v West Indies from 7th to 11th September. Packages for the England v Ireland Royal London One-Day International on 7th May 2017 are also expected to sell out in record time. Details of all hospitality options at Lord’s can be found on its website

Yareah MagazineSeptember 6, 2016

Yareah Magazine

Art is Everywhere and Up to You.

About Us - Press Kit - Contact Us

YM on Twitter

Top Posts & Pages

Yareah® Magazine is a Registered Trademark in the United States