Photo: The burdens of leadership. David Graham
One of the great pleasures of teaching writing is watching young writers catch fire and develop their own voices and visions. Today I'd like to feature a poem by a student who just graduated from Ripon College about a week ago, John Ingemann. I've been following his development as a poet for several years now, and have really come to admire the zest, imagination, humor, and surprise that his poems display.
The Dog Days
Often I look out my window
during a summer thunderstorm,
dull and black, thundering
without rain, leaves shuddering,
me left wondering, has God started snoozing
during his favorite action movie?
A series of imploding explosions
light up His living room, the TV glowing on
an unopened guide, tonight’s scheduled programming,
a half eaten dinner snoring, cold burger and fries,
tomorrow’s glorified leftovers, a bonus,
a window cracked, the fan humming,
His omnipotent face, tired and warm,
the heat up in heaven so searing
as the Almighty sleeps deeply.
If only an angel or spirit would tap his toe,
nice and slow, not to scare him with
a whisper in the wee hours of morning, “It’s late,
the storm has passed.” DVD load screen rerunning,
God yawning, eyes crusted and weary,
shuffling across the moon’s rays
and into the crescent, muttering
something about a dream he had,
bad nightmare, scary something
or another, whatever, He’s tired
goes to bed, pillow on head,
ten minutes later sleeping
as my mother reels the hose in,
just finished watering marigolds
since God forgot what the meteorologist said.