3 A.M.

by Kemmer Anderson


Ghosts of the Holocaust hover over the earth.

Chemical gas curls around the forgotten footprints left by Jesus

On Syria’s soil where fleeing refugees thread through

A narrow span of time, homeless targets in death’s hourglass.

The archeology of murder always digs up a witness.


Sirens scream.  From the alley the echoing rounds

Of automatic weapons bullet through bodies blasted

Against an operational text written by the chess hand

Of tyrants.  When conscience unravels in the wind,

Ash settles around the soul.  Light flickers dims, snuffs out


The last syllables of sanity suffocating under the rubble

With a human fingerprint registered in the patent office

Of the maker whose drone armies fly like summer gnats

Around the eyes blind to beauty.  The wandering Tiresias

Stumbles from Delphi with oracles dripping from pores


Sizzling on the altar fires with what lies ahead when Truth

Explodes into night rain falling on a city ignited

By the hounds of suicide bombers devouring life with teeth

Pulling on the fuse lines timed for the end.  Furnace fires of flesh

Boil in the mirrored memory of Hiroshima evaporating the last drop


Of water from the sea of creation. All language is void, unformed

In the chaos of spoken howls silenced by thunder voiced

By the dark lightning from a Mount Olympus where the gods of war

In the shape of man now blow across the plain in dust – dissolving urns  

As gravity pulls apart the shaded shadows of reason.  It is finished.

Kemmer Anderson, poet, taught English for 40 years at McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was Amnesty International Chapter advisor and B-team soccer coach. A veteran of U.S. Army in Korea and traveler in Greece, Palestine and Israel, he received N.E.H. grants on Milton, Galileo, Thucydides. A graduate of Davidson College, he has received a M.A. in English from UT-Chattanooga and M.A. degree in humanities from St. John's College, Annapolis. He has published 10 chapbooks and 3 poetry books: Wing Shadows Over Walden Ridge, Songs of Bethlehem: Nativity Poems, and Palamedes: The Lost Muse of Justice. He and his wife Martha lived and gardened on Wing Shadow Farm for 21 years.


February 2018

© 2020 by The Esthetic Apostle