Clinton Van Inman



It is more than just tasting fine wines
While dining listening to local jazz
Or introducing well-dressed wives
Surrounded in mink while posing
For the local well-to-do magazines
Or even experts discussing techniques
Or docents, directors, and patrons disclosing
The latest collection of Chinese antiques
Among the proud, the pomp, and the pizzazz
The dinner receptions and the latest book signing
With all the applause and customary handshakes
Or cutting purple ribbons or slicing cakes
Or for the call for juried art for artís sake
As painting still goes on make no mistake.


To them we must look quite dumb
Like beasts or bunch of gawking gorillas
That they came from us they must have doubted
This sub-human branch that was soon rerouted
To a higher link of super-duper humanity
Arose from a mixture of complex singularity
With such a feat of exquisite artificiality
To crawl from a test tube with great dexterity.
To replace us by some unnatural succession
With some ironic twist of artificial selection
Appalling to all the squandering masses
Who could not prevent the final analysis
The second expulsion of final exegesis
This sacred testament of bio-Genesis.


They say that most of you is missing
Perhaps from your most private places
Something more than just an arm or leg
And deeper than your darkest spaces.
Researchers conclude as much as ninety percent
Lost deduced from a long line of Xís and Oís
But it takes no greater science to tell me
Your muted mysteries no one knows.
I too have peered down your opaque passages
Have felt your fractal pulse dimensionless
Have seen your eyes hidden in a veil of stars
And knew that you are quite featureless.
Like staring at the stars you cannot be seen directly
And all your skies are blue from a distance only.


They said that you were dressed right
In your blues, your red and white,
The fresh cut flowers were neatly laid,
With folded flag as the band had played.
We stood and watched in Sundayís best
In places not for playing you would rest,
Momma fell sick, said it was the heat
When they lowered you under our feet.
They said that you were dressed right
With your blues, your red and white,
But none of those names engraved in stone
Or those flags waving for some proud cause
That gives the grownups much applause,
Or your medals matter because you are gone.


The river curves with graceful sweep.
Along its banks the willows weep.
The slender boughs are bending low
To gaze the sunís reflection far below
That yields its mystery to the stream
Carried away by some boundless dream.
Perhaps the pulse or lasting splendor
Will express some secret or oft desire
Beyond all rule or mindless measure
My words too will press even higher.
Without poetry our world will perish
Leaving not a plank or rack behind
To show one royal act to cherish
Some idea that all history is really blind.


If only we could dance this night away
Filled with champagne and candlelight,
In hours held by our own delight,
Only this and this alone would please.
Like Chablis mixed with sweet bouquet
In moments we soon could not forget
Save all not close to the clarinet,
Where only perfume and tobacco lingers
Our love will rise above all these.
When we shall tango upon the terrace
Moonbeams shall fall upon your face,
And I shall say that nothing really matters
Except this time that we have passed
Because we have saved our best for last.

Copyright  ©  2014 Clinton Van Inman

Clinton Van Inman was born in Walton-on-Thames, England in 1945, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977 BA in Philosophy, and has been an educator most of his life.  He is currently still teaching high school in Tampa Bay where he lives with his wife, Elba.