A Few Recent Schenck Poems


Yia Yia


A moment passed, a flash of time,

  and took away our song and rhyme.

The notes you left upon the score

  await without the hope of more.


Your heart, your voice, your presence dear,

  we’d only just begun to hear.

We scarcely know how much of you

  still echoes in the things we do.


So as we pass the moments next,

  we take you as our special guest.

You’ll live in us; we’ll make you be

  inside us ’til eternity.



Written for Tommy and Sophie in dedication to Yia Yia the day of her viewing and later expanded (6/28/03).



Poem for a New Year


From fifty-nine to aught o'clock
One year is lost, another bought.
What's done is done, what's gone be not
It came but once, now never sought.

Time waited long for its begin
From all eternity to send
Then just as soon behind it left
For all eternity to sift.

2004 an even year?
Then nervous I await an odd
1000 plus dead in a war
Whose lives were best spent otherwhere
And billions spent that could have helped
So many other better fare
Add hundred thousands just in time
For this years death toll up to climb
Chaotic waters, primeval power
Gave to us tsunami's hour

It's all a mystery to me
A man alive, and now he's dead
A year is here, and now it's past
And only God persists to last

But why to see the time now out,
The contents from the glass outpoured,
Should rather think the glass' destin
For savors of the year in store


(January 1, 2005)



An Ode to Derrida

Once upon a pan'cras churning
Went the Da to death a learnin'
Over the under takers he received the endless snore

Derrida went over the hill
To fetch beyond the pale
Death fell down and up he went
or down to the hereafter

Cancer comes without a care or bias
Can Sir Derr be present though he's gone?
All that's left is traces chasing traces
The dog is gone and only left a tale

So live that when your summons comes
Comes summons so that you no longer live,
Ol' Jacques had lived in Lethe,
For Lethe now he pines
As his pine box remembers
What in life he had forgot

Because he would have stopped for death
Had no effect on her
So buy some kind of presence here
Lest absence hear and kindly stop by in life, leaving a kind of emptiness.


Written around the death of Jacques Derrida (10/12/2004)