The dead don’t feel
what the living endure.
I’m sorry
but they’re on cosmic vacation
of some kind,
weaving Saturn’s rings
around armrests
on deck chairs
beneath Amsterdam blue smoke,
blue as French designer’s flair for cobalt blue,
blue as any florescent blue-ringed octopus
fingering the mask of our designated diver
local graveyards
for signs of life.


Benjamin Alan Britt teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University. His recent books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010),Vegetable Love (2009),Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). Other poems (selected) in Agni, The Bitter Oleander, Bloomsbury Review, Bolts of Silk (Scotland), Christian Science Monitor, Epoch, Fire (UK), The Great American Poetry Show, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Midwest Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, Puerto del Sol, Queen’s Quarterly (Canada), Sou’wester, plus several anthologies. 

Alan, nominated for the Pushcart Prize many times, most recently 2008, 2009 & 2011, received his Masters Degree from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He performs poetry workshops for the Maryland State Arts Council and occasionally publishes the international literary journal, Black Moon, from Reisterstown, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Friese, and two formerly feral cats. 

In writing "The Dead" I was contemplating death and what it means to those of us still roaming planet Earth.  We don't know what's in store after life on this planet...maybe paradise, maybe hardship, we don't know but we'll find out eventually.  Meanwhile, back on planet Earth we need to focus on living meaningful lives, because if we're not careful, we'll spend our entire time on this mortal coil leading dead spiritual lives, which means we're dead already!



Copyright 2009