Patrick Theron Erickson poetry


If this
gives you
a charge

why not
up the amps

and get
a large charge

or increase
the voltage

and get a jolt

A jolt
is what they
once called
a tremor

growing up
in northern California

the buildup
and discharge
of tension
along the San Andreas Fault

like the buildup
and discharge
of static electricity
wearing your favorite woolens

San Andreas Fault
or no San Andreas Fault

It used to be
a favored means
of public execution
called the hot seat

or the electric chair

if you were
the chairman of the board

and had fallen
out of favor.


At our age
the majority of those
we love best
are dead*

And so
I spend my days
going to and from
their new address

on the chance
I might catch a glimpse
of Susan’s golden curls
or Rebecca’s auburn tresses

Stephen’s portly frame
or Anthony’s jolly demeanor

just a glimpse
if only in my mind’s eye

as that bespectacled
organ of perception is

And yes
I talk to the dead

Only a madman would say
I talk with the dead

And if the conversation
is a bit one-sided

and my piety
frowned upon,

forgive me, good people

What sort of intercourse
with God could I have
if what I love best
were unmentionable to Him?*

Better I should talk
to the stones

and the stones be stone deaf?

*from “Commemoration of All Saints” from C.S. Lewis

Paul is a retired parish pastor who lives in Garland, Texas.