Leo Yankevich

Silver Star - 3,448 Points (October 30,1961 / Farrell, Pennsylvania)

Manichaeans - Poem by Leo Yankevich

Indistinguishable from the dark, a rat
crawls through debris. Above, aloof and pale,
the moon shines on all the heavens and hells
of the city, shines on the good and bad

alike, more intimately than the sun.
Two pounds of dung sit in our bodies' bowels,
waiting to be released. The sweat on our brows,
the warm saliva on our twisted tongues

shall be purified in estuaries,
merge with the thoughts of seals and otters.
Our sperm and eggs become sons and daughters,
but what of the husks of all our worries,

of our falling lungs and aching gallstones,
of the scabs from our wounds, of our bad blood?
We prefer abstractions, words like: love
and redemption; hate the meat on our bones,

gag at the worms that cleanse us, yield to blight.
We are purists at heart. But, if only
it would stop pounding, if only we could be
fleshless, if only we could be like light.

Comments about Manichaeans by Leo Yankevich

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (5/7/2015 10:34:00 PM)

    Impressively graphic with virtually flawless structure...Leo, I do believe you are fast becoming one of my favourite bards of the silent word! ~FjR~ (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/23/2005 9:08:00 PM)

    Wow, this is terrific. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: city, hate, moon, dark, sun, light, heart, daughter, son

Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, May 30, 2011

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]