Broken Turtle Blog

Broken Turtle Blog

Letters to You Samples

Four poems 
from Letters to You
with an earlier verse published in The New Yorker
by Douglas Morea

Morea was born in 1945 in Queens, New York City, and grew up primarilay there, marrying and moving to Delaware in his late 20s, where he with their mother Kass raised two daughters to successful adulthood. He memains in Delaware now with his second wife, Karen.

His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Dreamstreets, and The Mickle Street Review, which awarded him the Doris Kellog neale prize in 1984.


Every Spring there you are, your fuzzy buff goslings in obdient tow,
feeding in the grassy drainage ditch by my roadside.
Year after year.
And years ago,
when you were new parents, there'd be sad fuzzy buff bumpies
on my road; but hardly ever any more.
You learned to be good parents,
teach your children what
you know.
Except, we humans can't.
While most of you arise by wise adults, seasoned on many seasons,
we get raised by raw near-children.
Humans mostly have but one shot parenting, then
we're shot.
Like you, we learn to keep them off the road, but often
not in time. Like yours, our wisdom grows, but ours grows only old,
and with us dies.
Why did the human cross the road,
only to become a sad fuzzy bumpy, for nothing
on the other side?


How can we prepare?
Bible says mostly we’ll be caught off guard, meaning
biblical warnings must
in order that they be fulfilled.
Meaning Hell and Heaven are in bed together, and you, Doomsday,
are the bed.
Admit it does come off whiffing a bit of class warfare—
supporting cast of expendable thousands, eh?
What’s your next gig,
of the Apocalypse,
stud farm duty?  Ah, all those bomb-shell eternal night
mares to service…  but Mr. Dreamboat
back down
here you’re just a one trick pony
one time event we can’t learn from, a cosmic high to get high for. Like
smoking dope to watch a total eclipse.
Hey save it for when there’s
not one.
is exactly the wrong moment for special effects.
Do you love me, O Doomsday?
In my life I have been the least effective evil person I’ve ever known.
So, in advance, I offer you my contrition and tears:
will likely catch me eating a muffin and
sipping herbal tea.


Superbowl’s good clean American ritual combat
ruined by bare-breast menace.
Oh sure, football and T.V. brass apologize, but will anything be done?
We need a Warring Commission:
Or act of crazed lone breast
Meanwhile the Liberal Establishment is in denial of the threat
that that Jackson woman shamelessly poses
for Society,
refusing to see the naked body as violent crime.
I may be a voice crying in wilderness, but dire consequences come—
roving gangs of breasts will smash glass and kick
innocent little old ladies
char deeper virile men cursed with hearts already blackened.
It’s time
to take American breasts back into custody, and lay them
to rest, treasured heirlooms in their Cups
of the Covenant
for their own ethic cleansing good, and spare
gawking children eternal nerve
A Concerned Citizen


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(reprinted from The New Yorker, 16 September 1974)

Sky descends; noon of brazen summer
wilts weeds in the city lot;
daily I glance across on my hurried lunch break—
gobs of tar, old tires
crush them. “Can the sky be falling?”
the weeds might ask themselves,
and are themselves the answer.

These growths are pale pith,
sweet and rank, piped in green fibre;
leaves ladder up them:
footholds gouged in the face of sheer cliff-air.
Sun pounds down on raised fingers branching
upon the ledge of bloom;

but they go half limp, roll with the blow, play
dead, as a child will,
till cool night tickles them sprightly again.
(So winter frees the seed
of the burden that bore it.) But this, this

Human age of waste, our rank pyre-summer,
our winter of ash-snow—
will its fire and brimstone be too much
of a bad thing? No.

Should nay heaven fall, it will be seed and rain.
The weeds may choke and die,
and I as well, but we will have our children.