Sean Cumming

The President fantasizes

A parade of injured Vets

A radio broadcast

Churchillian warbling

Surveying the rubble

One hand on a flag

His boot in mother soil

What would he do

If he were here?

Right now, at this moment

Who will play him?

He leans back in his chair

Squeaking the anthem

In farts and coughs

His morning coffee is cold

In the cup, the water

Ripples in rumbles of reality.



A crow’s eye

Bulging black marble

Shining swollen

Above a gaping beak

Baking in its feathers

Showing streaks

Of crazed dying

Like the shadows

Of an atomic blast

I watched the fury

Frying in the bend

Of its neck as

My neck burned

Pink unseen

Like the sunset

In fire season



image by David Todd McCarty

After John Donne

Each man is an island,

Alien to himself.

Shrouded in smoke, a mirror

Of his desire.

If he shall be worn away by the sea,

America is better.

As it leaves more for me and mine.

As it leaves the fittest to triumph.

No friends of mine

A man’s death elevates me,

For I am patriot and believe

Whatever I feel, and know

The truth lies,

Lies only in me.



The poet who loves power

Is piously praised

By all of the papers

Who speak to the rich

The poet who loves power

Has written a psalm

It sings with the pain

Of the President’s purse

The poet who loves power

Talks about people

As mountains and trees

As valleys and leaves

The poet who loves power

Believes in the plan

Blueprints to success

Of God or of man

The poet who loves power

Is paid to be poor

Is paid for their silence

Pedagogy and pomp

The poet who loves power

Is fashionably clothed

Speaks slowly to those

Who don’t understand

The true meaning of our words

In lines or in verse

To lift up the voice

Of those never heard



Sean Cumming

Sean Cumming

Sean Cumming is a writer, poet, and musician from a small town on the West Coast of Scotland. He currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon.