Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hard Men and God


1)       Men Marching
2)     The Old Laborer
3)     Men of the Steel Mill  (Men crowed together)
4)     Men of the Brotherhood (words of the preacher)
5)     The Iron Machine Man (can men love men)
6)     Men of the Slaughterhouse (Middle-aged)
7)     The Humble Man (Slaughterhouse dilemma)
8)     The Great Figure of Industry (Power of the Minds)
9)     The Factory District (and the little girl)
10)   Two Roads (“My foundry grew and grew—“)
11)     A Stringer of Words (A definite purpose/the old  painter)
12)   The Road of a Soldier (without regret)

Note by the author on the poems: these poems are about hard men, men of iron and steel, and hard boned: and underneath that hard bone and flesh, is: blood, sweat and God. Men who work in Steel Mills, and Iron Foundries, and Slaughterhouses, factories, truck drivers (over the road), and soldiers: the author in his youth worked in all areas but truck deriving, but he is of such stock; he worked in: two iron foundries, one steel mill, and two slaughterhouses, to include four factories—in the Midwest and upper Great Lakes area in the United States, in particular: Seattle, Erie, and San Francisco, during the 1960s and ’70; and was an active soldier for eight years, a decorated Vietnam Veteran. They are hard drinkers, they use hard and rough language, some are prideful and angry, some are loners, fighters, and many are prayerful men, when alone. They have big hands, broad shoulders, hard muscles, harsh voices, dirty fingernails, thick fingers, tears they hide, most have old scars, missing fingers, and most are straightforward: but when it comes to God most bend their knees without hesitation, or remain silent standing: they are real men moving, in a tired world (wrong or right, they tread the ground of God’s holy earth).

D.L. Siluk, 11-2013

1)  Men Marching

How does God see us?
As a moving mass—! Who’s to say?
I try to grasp the minds of leaders (as most of us do)…
My simple mind, grasps about—
Striving to follow the greater, only to find out in most cases,
Men make their own gods—
Each goal is the birth of a new god…for them!
And life goes on!...  and so does
—the hunger in the minds of men (men of iron)
—as if they are marching, endlessly marching—
What are they looking for, I ask myself?
“What the world has not come up to yet!” Is my Answer!
Yet my question begs a better answer:
“The soul wants a sense of order! Should we all walk
 Shoulder to shoulder it would make the seas shutter,
 And God Almighty move onto other things.”

#4115 (11-19-2013)

2)  The Old Laborer

Who is this man, crude in his ways —
Huge, muscled, a laborer (perhaps pastime truck driver)…
He is but one who has lived in the world since time began!...
And still he stumbles blindly about
Rubbing his eyes, awakening only to find he has labored
       away his century…
As the dust of the fields, and the factors move on—
He missed the haggling of Jesus’ followers over the price of the wine
       for the Last Supper!
The old laborer now moves slowly, legs tingling, wanting to fall;
His throat is hot and dry—on and on forever he goes…
He doesn’t talk much, he does listen although.
He’s waiting for the impending hour!...
There is gentle murmur—scarcely audible—
He’s thanking God, for his bread.

#4116 (11-19-2013)

3)  Men of the Steel Mill    (Men crowed together)

She stood facing him; it was like facing her own soul!
She wanted to go back to pulling weeds in the field, or instructing the
Not to make another trial at life.
She felt like a little animal in a forest inhabited by larger animals—
So there she stood perfectly still for a longtime
His idea—common among men—that the woman be protected
       physically and from the facts of life—
Hence, she lost her vigor for life long ago…
Watching him come and go, to and from the steel mill!
She hated and lived him.
She asked God “Why do I care for him—what is in my nature that has
       made me care for him?”
The marriage serves his body, she pondered, tenderness naught!
He’s a colorless creature, she told herself.
Then it dawned on her, as if God Himself, threw alighting bolt into her
“He’s a coward, afraid of me! I cannot cure myself by running away… Yes, I too am a coward,” and she prayed:
“God take the fear of his hard glean that comes into his eyes from my 
       soul, I shall then be cured!”
There she stood by the door as if she was a deep shadow—waiting,
       just waiting for his return with trembling eagerness.

 #4117 (11-20-2013)

4)  Men of the Brotherhood  
(A Calmer of Hearts)

Men with broad hands, men of building trades
Big and small men, laboring men, of the brotherhood!...
All with intense faces
The words of the preacher were shot forth—
Sharp like a blast from a pistol
His sentences short, broken, disconnected—
But the picture he tried to draw, flashed through their minds
(they would have rather fought with a wild animal hand in hand, than sit
 with their wives in the church listening, seeking the right expressions).
Sweat poured from their brows, they moved restlessly…
They knew they couldn’t wrestle with God and win,
So they just grappled silently, as if with an opponent.

 #4119 (11-20-2013)

5)  The Iron Machine Man ((Can Men love men)(the Factory))

The man got rich from his Iron Machine—
The man operating the Iron machine got his arm and leg torn off…
Now he lies in his bed (underpaid):
“Am I to love the rich man?” he contemplates.
“Twenty years I have worked the rich man’s iron machine, made the iron
       machine man rich:
“My kind have given his kind automobiles, houses, children made for
       madness (as they let them run about misbehaving)
“We have cried and cared for them, and still the rich man shakes his
       finger and commands, as he speaks of pity of us—
“Can we love that?”
He moves his huge form, he sits upright, his wife now is his arms and
       Legs: his eyes.
He is no longer a giant!  He prays for a miracle.

#4118 (11-20-2013)

6)  Men at the Slaughterhouse     (Middle-aged)

The middle-aged men sat sideways on the benches, resting:
A troubled look in many of their eyes—
Not expressing any thoughts to one another
Lucidly interested in one another’s viewpoints…
They knew if they got sentimental it would spoil their work
       or peace of mind.
To get sentimental about women, any woman is a fool,
       and of course he is (was their way of thinking).
After work it would be the ball game, bridge, reading the newspaper, or
       beer up at the bar…
The break was over, back to the slaughterhouse on cracked stone
Now windows: swearing and shouting, hurrying, cutting, pulling the
       great hogs from conveyor to conveyor—
Breathing deeply, thinking about Sunday’s mass and confession!

#4120 (11-20-2013)

7)  The Humble Men 
(The Slaughterhouse dilemma)    

He knelt by his bed, told God he was losing his humbleness for his
       estranged wife
((he was the foreman at the slaughterhouse) (iron like broad shoulders, thick fingers, in his fifties, four fingers to each hand))
Humbleness swept over him and he blamed himself for his petty
       thoughts,  twisting around in his mind every-which-way.
It seemed like nothing mattered, nothing but work (his escape).
He couldn’t do the things he felt, set out to do…
He felt denied! Almost shameful (as if he was cracked)
When he came home, she quickly ran upstairs to her bedroom to pray!
She cried again, as often she did…
“I’ll do anything for her,” he said, wiping sweat from his brow
       ((feeling helpless)(hoping God heard))
And she cried, in prayer saying: “We are children in the hands of
       giants—and he must not meet defeat, at the hands of children.”

#4121 (11-20-2013)

8)  The Great Figure of Industry (Power of the Minds)

“The silent patient power of money will bring victory—” he told the       
       heads of industry, those in the thinking room—
He measured accurately the power of the people:
“We must,” he told them, “reassert our ascendancy over their minds, —
       it is the end, the struggle of minds.”
He personified, the messiah image, telling all who met him, his great
       ideas,  for progress, industry, and the people became under
His spell, influenced; his personality fascinated one and all, or per near
This great figure of industry, pointed the people on another road, a new
       and long road, his fortune; giving to his followers speculation and Dreaming.
And in time, four-years later, they came to realize, he was simply 
       something else, a treeless forest, steady and never-ending, something that arose to something else, vast and puffed up, but rhythmical, to the point
       of sedating them to his way—as if hypnotic.
For a mighty moment he was like a chorus that brought music to the
       hearts of men…
It was if anything, a crude and short and sort of intoxication.
In this great sturdy figure, the majority cried: “He must not be denied
       the fulfillment of its purpose” (and so the majority chose him again—as if brainwashed)…
And many shook as with a chill—those who were the lovers of Mary and
For a time, it seemed the air itself, pulsated, and grew thinner and less:
       factories and foundries, steel mills, and slaughterhouses closed, Small and tall banks and all died out together, with the morals that once
       were blessed.
Street after street, people wandered about aimlessly; evening lights
       were turned off, for lack of resources…
The country was black and grim; filled with noisy hooligans, children
       hungry and crying. Dogs howled, master-less: everywhere dirt and Disaster.

The people asked: “What did we do wrong?”
“When you let someone take charge of your life that is exactly what
       they do, and if, without accountability, it is always in their favor,” Said the Poet!

#4122 (11-21-2013)

9)  The Factory District (The bottle and the Child)

The child sat on the post of a fence as people walked by, she kicked
       with her heels the side of the post, tears filled her eyelids, dripping
       black streaks, and stains down her cheeks—
“I want an apple,” she pleaded and bellowed, staring at the cars and
       people, the brick walls and houses across the street…
She was the daughter of a janitor, a drunkard who worked at the electric  
       company, down around the wide boulevard that ran through the Factory district—
He was a big man, and there she sat, the fates and divine intervention,
       on her side; this man, maker of a child, this was his way.
She waited, looking over the faces, car roofs, —impatient; then came to
       her ears, his voice: “You been waiting long?” he asked.
She smiled, said not a word, and followed him back to their apartment,
       like a puppy.

I am talking to you now—
She loved him, and was in contest to win his love. Even though there
       was no rival, or perhaps there was, the bottle: for he had centered His life upon that item…

#4123 (11-21-2013)

10)  Two Roads (“My Factory grew     
                             and grew—)

“The passion, depth and meaning, we each had for one another, had
       passed,” his voice became sharp as he talked to his son (he was
       now an old man).
“Sentimentality had destroyed me,” he went on to say, “yet loving a
       woman saved me” (his wife long passed on).
The young man, failed to understand, exactly where his father was
       headed with all this…
“My foundry grew and grew, so I had less time for you, I was grateful to
       your mother for she was the object of my love for you, and I had to   
       live with the beauty of that.”
The young man, not yet twenty, thought silently on that, said inside his
       brain, ‘There are two roads to take, he took one, and I shall take
The father waited as though for inspiration.
With a crooked twist, the young lad, turned about, and walked away.

#4124 (11-21-2013)

11)  A Stringer of  
      Words (A definite purpose/the old


Grandpa spoke in a harsh voice—he was a racial but the things he said
       were all true  enough…
He was a workman (a painter of houses and buildings, etcetera)
A World War One Veteran...
A man’s kind of man—
He liked his vodka strong as hell (a hundred and forty proof)!
He had his faults though, he swore like a mule driver, and if you let him,
       he could kill dreams—
He helped my mother raise me.
I knew time was on my side, it would break his direction, if indeed he
       had one for me.
No one can see life at one great sweep—I lived in a patchwork of life to
       be: that is where God comes in…

There was something hypnotic about the quiet strength of my mother—
       of  her mood.
Grandpa never saw the point, she did!

As I grew he did not. You see I was the adventurer, the struggle to exist
       could not be avoided, I had to follow my dream.
Why could he not understand that?
We should have been partners in that—; bitterness swept over the old
        painter: it came out of his soul!...

I do not know what he wanted from me, to be (if anything), —and now I
        do not care; hence, I became a stringer of words (a poet—as fate
       would have it).

#4125 (11-21-2013)
The author is a journalist, poet, and novelist: in essence a “Stringer of Words”.

12)  The Road of a Soldier  (without regret)


In the Army there is little to no disorder and messiness of little to big
“Let them try it if they wish!” the Drill sergeant dares.
They want you to forget that sweet girl you left in the cornfields bay in
       Minnesota, or that gal you left in the big city, out east—wherever!
The beauty your life once created—is put on hold (for dreams).
It is now the task one must (should) consecrate their selves to:
Soldiers are to be like matadors in the bullring.
No longer the plough maker or the mule driver taking up the whip—
Point made, I am satisfied to let your imagination rest, or stroll.

In towns, some towns, they call soldiers drunkards, put up signs saying
       “Keep off the grass”; in some countries they spit at you!
It’s not humorous…
With a sinking heart I say: should you destroy the impulse of the
       soldier, you destroy what you want him to be, a fighting and killing Machine.
So let the few under the influence of drink be, let them roar out of their 
       sandy throats all the dust and long time looking, thinking,
       wondering, and excitement brought into a soldier’s head; for he has
       no other escape!

When he turns out the lights at night, in his room—far-far-away, unable
       to sleep, because he’s thinking—maybe with a moment of doubt, The truth of being a soldier: remembering those silly insulting signs,
       and those other smart remarks, and who but your family will put
       your picture on the wall if you’re to die tomorrow, but your family! The truth is, he says: “Is it worth it? This is all the youth I’ll ever have”
       with courage he gives it up; did he make a mistake? 
Let him be without regret.

#4126 (11-22-2013)
Note: Jesus said:  “What greater gift can man give, than his own life for another” (this is what the soldier must be willing to do)