Monday, February 28, 2022

David E. Poston

David E. Poston is a poet living in North Carolina who has published two chapbooks ― My Father Reading Greek (1999) and Postmodern Bourgeois Poetaster Blues (2007) ― and the full-length collection Slow of Study (2015, Main Street Rag). He taught for thirty years in public school, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and at Charlotte’s Young Writers’ Workshop.

His poetry has appeared at Your Daily Poem. David is a book reviewer for Pedestal Magazine and is one of the core editors of Kakalak ― an anthology which began as a regional publication but has grown well beyond that.

The following poem first appeared in The Windhover.

Suffering Servant

--------------Acts 8: 26-39, Isaiah 53: 7-8
-------Oppressed and afflicted,----he did not open his mouth.

As the Ethiopian struggles
to parse the words of Isaiah,
help comes from a stranger
with a tongue of fire.

-------A lamb is led to the slaughter,
-------a sheep before its shearers------------------------is silent.

Empires come and go.
One persecutes believers,
another provides the Middle Passage—
that’s not Philip’s news.

-------He did not open his mouth.-------By a perversion
-------------------------------------------------------of justice he was taken.

Across the sea lies a promised land
with cotton fields vaster than all Egypt.
There will be new songs:
-------“Follow the Drinking Gourd”
-------“Wade in the Water”
-------“I’ll Fly Away”

There it will not be harps
hanging from the trees.

-------Who could have imagined
-------his future,-------------------cut off
------------------------------------------------from the land of the living.

Here is water, the eunuch says.
Baptize me.
So the journey begins.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.