Poetry By Duane Locke


Translating Latin

The Latin etched in cement
Above the mantelpiece
Suddenly translated itself
Into the English of the street.
Those who worshipped the Latin
When not understood,
Blushed, trembled, began
To make strange noises.
The English saw the panic
That understanding caused,
Fell from the mantelpiece,
Cracked into many pieces,
Sent white dust throughout the room.
The dust clung to all the lips in the room.
Everybody had white lips.
Everyone looked at the white lips of the others.
The white lips looked like the lips of death.
Everyone had come to the banquet to kiss,
But now no one wanted to kiss.


Duane Locke 2002

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Bio: Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy in English Renaissance literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. Has had over 2,000 of his own poems published in over 500 print magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon, and Bitter Oleander. Is author of 14 print books of poems, the latest print book is WATCHING WISTERIA ( to order write Vida Publishing, P.O. Box 12665, Lake, Park, FL. 33405-0665, or Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Since September 1999, he became a cyber poet and started submitting on-line, and since September 1999 he has added to his over 2,000 print acceptances with 2,274 acceptances by e zines.