THE WHITMAN ISSUE
Robert L. Giron
On a pilgrimage liken to those who knee to Santiago de Compostela,
those who rock before the Wailing Wall, or
those in a dervish daze circling Mecca,
I stand before your bed and touch the wooden railing
smooth as porcelain by countless rubbings by manly hands.
As if wanting to commune with you, I wait
patiently for some sign to revive the first time
I read Leaves of Grass and felt my spirit leap,
sensing the brotherhood in your words,
knowing that we had a commonality crossing decades.
I look around and vaguely feel the calling of America,
the brotherhood of muscle, valor, and independence,
the need to be free and oneself among the masses,
the celebration of the body electric, the common man,
the mechanic, the captain of my life, rooted to the earth,
a silver oak of determination but a faithful willow
of pliability, I sing to myself,
calling the joy you felt among the men.
You are with me and I am refreshed,
flowing with the river ebbed by the
sting of life; I quiver, undulating until
I grasp the gossamer thread of my Soul.
Robert L.Giron is the author of five collections of poetry: Impressions françaises [French Impressions], Wrestling with Wood, Recuerdos [Memories], Metamorphosis of the Serpent God, and Songs for the Spirit. His latest work is an English translation of noted Mexican novelist Jesús Gardea's posthumous poetry collection, Canciones para una sola cuerda/Songs for a Single String, which was one of three finalists in the Violet Crown Award for Literary Prose/Poetry, sponsored by Barnes & Noble and the Texas Writers' League in Austin, TX. His poetry has appeared in a variety of national journals and magazines, including The Great Lawn, Art Form, The Texas Anthology, Amphora Review, Puerto del Sol, The World Haiku Review, and the CD 31 Arlington Poets. He writes in English, Spanish, and French. He is a professor of English and creative writing at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, MD, and is the founder of Gival Press. He is an active member of the National Writers Union and has organized writers' coffee hours and readings in the Washington area.