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Archie Said Love Should Not Mean But Be

by Andrew H. Oerke

Hoping for a make-over,
he exiled his failed self to Sahara sands,
while he would peg-leg down to the sea again,
adjust his eyepatch, growl AAArgh, and tack
to where the wind would belly his sail, anchors
aweigh.  He’d chase the shy horizon right
through the rolling crapshoot of the dicey breakers.

He’d sail to the drop-off at the end of the world.
He’d perch high on the mast and warble his head off,
he would, every note breaking his heart again,
but like a safety valve letting off steam.
But Love kept on taunting him through those whis-
kered authors in a wild pack of cards,
who whisper: To hell with consequence;
screw the boundaries; love trumps the universe.
That’s what we have to say.  There’s no back-up message.


Andrew H. Oerke was a Peace Corps Director in Africa and the Caribbean, and for many years president of a private and voluntary organization, working in and visiting more than 160 countries.  Mr. Oerke was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship at the Freie Universität in Berlin.  His work has appeared frequently in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry,  and in many other publications in the U.S., England, France, Germany, Lebanon, Malawi, Kenya, the Philippines, Jamaica, and Mexico.  In 2003, he was given the award for literature by the U.N. Society of Writers and Artists. (12/2012)

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