• Grant Handgis ~ Author/Poet

"The Portico"

The Portico

The small child lay huddled unobtrusively

just inside the portico

without even the shallow breath of March air

disturbing his fixed stare.

Roll him over!

vagabond impudent tart,

without even the decency of bathing

his filthy body

nor his clothing.

Stand him up!

make him march, in rhythm

with the rest of his ilk,

hiding like they do in other dark corners.

Can there be of no use for this one?

No task to atone for his corruption?

Where are we to place him? With whom

can we charge him; to better his fare and

divert his cause of attrition?

He is lost

in the destitution of

his own wastes.

What a pity, leaving the portico to seem

so shabby and fallen.

We must see to this disgraceful display!

Chase him off!

Chase him off!

We will be clean again I tell you!

Neat and tidy, like it should be

Copyright 1978-2011

This poem continued the theme of social change and unrest. Large demonstrations were forming on the streets of Eugene. Social policy was beginning to split into two camps, with both sides ferociously defending their positions. I was on the street photographing and recording demonstrators' words to better understand their cause, and my poetry continued to flow in an attempt to capture the mood and spirit of the times.

The poetry itself was changing, with the meter becoming more truncated and the lines shorter. There was also less use of metaphor, instead focusing more on discription as a phantom social voice, replicating what seemed at the time a national mindset. Art mirroring society sort of thing. The consistency in my poetry was that it was put to paper in stream of conscious form. There was plenty of angst in the air and charged energy to keep the words flowing without any need to construct anything artificially. The collection of poems on social issues continued to grow and so did I on those very issues. It is from whence the title to these collections of poems is derived. For me, it was the age of youth.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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