Creative Work Poetry

Long Hours/An Encounter/Echoes of a Still Life at a Park

By Carlos Campos Jr

Long Hours

My shirt is worn
Stained maybe
Bags fill my eyes
Bags fill my hands
Bags even fill my scalp - 
consistently occupying time

Ahead is a clock
broken perhaps
for it never moves forward
                         Welcome to _________

only backwards really

            hands move
                  tick tock
        forward backward
              Tick back tock
     does it

                          Produce, Line 1,,,

              mean that
                    I am working negatively?
or perhaps I don't 

                          Produce Line 1 Please
know analog. 
All I see are hands
and voices asking prices
interrupting my 

                           Delivery for Grocery

line of thought.

How long
     have I been here
How long 
     has this belt
           conveyed forward
                 and forward?
Can they - 

                     Bakeryyyyyy, Line 4
Could they
      at least
a bed for me to try
rather than sleep in chairs
                 Awful Awful Plastic Awful Awful Damn Awful Awful Chairs

of the break room?

                      seventy-eight forty five is your change
                            "have a wonderful day!"

My shirt is worn
Bags fill my eyes
Bags fill my carcass
My shirt is worn
My shirt is 
My shirt


An Encounter

Blood spilled today - 
rivers painted the asphalt
screaming for first response:
bodies ripped apart
as if mangled by wild boars;

broken cadavers splattered,
seeking consolation from Earth.
Throughout - charred images
of leather bound books and
pamphlets too scrunched in to see.

There: atop bones, brains, and blood
Men screamed murder
as their glares pointed daggers
overtaken by madness

convicted to war for the liberation
of sinners' souls, these Men
kill in sight of That Above
for that is their calling.
Beneath the sun overhead
Men charge one another till their death- 

thus goes another day
religious followings in parking lots
bump again

Echoes of a Still Life at a Park

The clouds hugged the falling sun
just ss the fresh air held our bodies - 

there we were, in the light of gray
overlooking scattered ponds of tall grass

and, behind, reminding such grass lessons of humility,
stood trees that wrote sonnets to the sun they touch.

They grow and are grown to provide homes
                        and, perhaps, hideouts
To all the various living beings struggling for morsels.
off the path the armadillo seeks restlessly
another bite to ail its hardened stomach;
in the corner of the eye, the hare bolts
rushing what it fears could be the gun - 
but is merely a camera, training itself to its skull. 

A pathway tears their village in half. 
Imposed on them for purposes of convenience
the pathways are gray soulless slabs - 
camouflaged with local colors 

Perhaps the hare asks the armadillo
for what purposes does this exist?
It exposes to dangers and is rough to rest

Perhaps the armadillo seeks nuance
finding something positive to soothe the pain
the belly from hunger makes

Perhaps the turtle, off, in the pond nearby
does not acknowledge the existence of the path
for the path does not intrude its home.

The sun continues to fall, hiding itself
from performing all day.
It must bee exhausting, to illuminate - 
to shine and radiate warmth, 
it is no wonder the sun
hides back beneath the peripheral line.

What keeps the sun going? While the clouds
take over the dance at times, the sun
shines and performs day in, day out/

Is it the romances? The songs of 
roosters, the poetry of oaks, the verses of 
endless leaves harmonizing with the solar rays?

The gray begins to set in - 
fireflies begin their work shift
and as we see the mystery of the 
wonders of existence cycles and cycles ago

as we see a glimpse of the terrain of our world

as we interact in harmony with this field

we see
we hear
we feel the need to overcome finality
different than before
different than before

About the Writer: Carlos Campos Jr (they/them) is a Chicanx (pronounced chee-cahn-eh) poet. They were born and live in Texas but their home is in Monterrey, and is a founding member of the Houston DSA Arts Collective. Their work can be found in the Houston Review of Books, where they debuted. One can find Carlos on Instagram as @CompaPoeta. They’re always open to messages, whether it be poetry or random discussion.

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