Much reading renders dust the myth
Of some past golden age,
As rust and tarnish, canker, rot
Have flyspecked every page.
Outlines emerge, though, that describe
The wax and wane of powers
And which times had the wit to build—
Or only tear down—towers.
As on a crowded street one sorts
The harmless from the threat,
Some stories stand out from the day
And mark a turn, so that
If we can’t quite assay this age
Or what it is replacing,
We still can feel the flames and smell.
The swart smoke of debasing.
J.D. Smith’s third collection of poems Labor Day at Venice Beach was published in 2012; his first humor collection Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth the following year.. His poems have appeared in journals and sites including 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, Texas Review, and Dark Mountain 3.