• Grant Handgis

Grant Handgis ~ Author/Poet

Horn of Plenty

There was little sympathy in those days

late as it was in those early years,

when young and old alike were driven to new abandon

taking all things offered by the scalper

who laid low in high profile media spots

well placed at those most opportune of moments

in daily visual traffic.

All wants were for the taking and

there were always sumptuous arrays of items

continually on display

brightly coordinated, brilliantly arranged

and always needed.

There was little sympathy around then

for those who couldn't find the formulae

for success.

Those forlorn senders of bad news and bad trips

always so tacky in their fashion and manners and

exhibiting such chutzpa to pander the better citizens

who had made their way unassisted on common charities

and handouts.

Only those base sorts would sink to asking for something


There was such little sympathy for the times

when opulence permeated all quarters of the higher towers

and inner offices of decision.

There was no one to see under the rugs,

to hear the squalor in the darker corners tucked away

or smell the fumes of death

cooking so slowly beneath the headlines

marked prosperity.

"There is no hunger in America"....

There is little sympathy for those who choose

not to work for a living... there are no free lunches..."

There was little sympathy back then

there was only the growing hunger

and a murmur

which grew steadily, persistently

among the vulgar rabble

ever reminded of a hunger

and a popular persuasion

that there was little sympathy back then

for the likes of them.

Copyright 1978-2011

During the early years of the eighties the social mood had changed, and so had my life. The old fashioned notion of social service guided by John Kennedy's words of asking what you could do for your country had been remolded into a new mantra guided by "Greed is Good". I had very recently gained full custody of my two oldest children and taken leave of Arizona for greener and calmer pastures in Eugene, Oregon.

My view of social issues from the calm waters of my new home continued to change over time, as did my poetry. I continued to work in open verse as it gave me a certain freedom to lay down the lines of poetry at the same pace as the thoughts racing through my mind. The lines themselves spell out how I perceived the issues unfolding all around me, as well as demonstrate the beginning of a trend for lengthier poems, which would continue. I was slowly maturing as a poet.

The old musical adage that "you gotta suffer to sing the blues" has its counterpart for writers, especially poet types, in that a laid back contented life of ease is not the springboard of meaningful poetry. It is the angst laden mind of suffering that opens the veil of reality to the larger world and connects the poet to those realities directly, as an intervenous needle in a aretery. The pain and suffering of those brought into the poet's awareness are realized as if there were an umbelical connection between them, all. This is the lot of the poet. A condition most learn to abide, and few discard or regret.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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