Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,024 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Scott's Valentine - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Writing to you a love letter on Valentine’s—
A small addition to the sea of letters you have
Sent spinning inside me
Like Odysseus on Charybdis’ merry-go-round-
Dizzy and violent.

How many years ago now?
When I was an adolescent with skin on fire
Who took most of his comforts skipping classes or
Hiding eating orchids with a tortoise
Underneath of a broken down school bus.

My only solace anywhere near society
Was gladly adhering to the governance of your slowing clocks—
While looking at you,
Neanderthal of rainbows,
Allowing me reigns to look away from
Structures that men are supposed to make,
Allowing me to graffiti an introverted forest onto the
Desk that carried me like Rimbaud’s drunken boat.

Your classroom’s empirical coordinates: 26.6550 N,
80.4522 W; but they could not find you by looking there—
In the place where you taught us
Where aesthetic truth rooted and bloomed,
Orgasms of apiaries and puppet shows—
Mandalas carrousel ling with patinas of transcendental
Glimmering tinsel and bicycle spokes of mental

Giving us freedom to decommercialize,
To breathe from your heady photosynthesis
To survive upon the chlorophyll off the polyps
Of Thoreau’s woodland acrobatics:
The slough of a golden serpent,
Evaporations of every day’s materialisms:
You freed us from the anchors of the pestilent
School yards of conformity.

And I look both back and up to you now,
As a ghost and a time traveler,
A machine momentarily coming unhemmed
From his expected routines—
A lover turning back after twenty years,
Trying to bask once again in your mind altering influence.

You saw a god in the quietude of all of us.
Our souls continue to migrate around you,
Dancing like a cloak of light in our sleeps—
Wings spread, mouths opened,
Eyes widened:
Continuously sating from you,
In fields farthest away from the football
Stadiums and baseball diamonds,
Knowing you are aware of us,
Even though we may be lost,
Teaching us together in the forests where our footsteps
Fall alone.

Topic(s) of this poem: love and art

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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