Poetry by
John E. Cashwell
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About The Author:
John E. Cashwell is  the author of four highly imaginative
novels, twelve short stories, fifty short poems, and the
new, acclaimed six-book epic poem Toishan. He has over
forty years advertising, marketing and copy writing
experience, most notably responsible for helping to
launch the Panasonic brand to consumers in North
America. A former US Marine and a graduate of Duke
University, John lives  on the Albemarle Plantation in
Hertford, North Carolina, where he enjoys writing,
fitness training and golf with his wife of fifty-two years,
Ann M. Cashwell.
FAREWELL E. D. W.

FUNERAL RAIN

HIDING PASSAGES

SPECTERS

CAISSONS AND CASKETS

WALKING HOME

FLASHBACKS  

SHINING STAR

TILL THE COSMOS RUNS DRY                                                                    

QING MING                                                                

MOTHER OF GOD

ABOVE THE CLIFFS                         

REQUIEM FOR ALLIE

NUI CO TIEN

THE CITADEL

THE LETTER      
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                               “Farewell E.D.W.”

In the church
It was so quiet
You could hear
The rain
Beginning in
Tiny drops
Against
The stained-glass windows
Soft at first
But not to last
As the storm
Gathered strength
Increasing
The tempo
Of the drops
Hardening
The message
Of a once
Carefully groomed
Street
In a prestigious
Town
Where now
Water overflowed
From the sewer
Into the church
Parking lot
Drowning the old feet
And the new shoes
Of the late arrivers
Impeaching
An historic beauty
Once reserved
For only
The best of towns.

In the church
The casket was draped
With an American flag
Signaling
No slight being inside
Rather a soldier
A Marine
Who had accompanied
MacArthur
Through the high waters
Of Leyte Gulf
Keeping the General
Upright         
When it was all too easy
To fall down                
In wet shoes
That sloshed
An uneven path
To dryer land
Whispering something witty
In the General’s ear
Just like he sometimes
Whispered something witty
To us
Although usually something
Rip-roaringly funny
That made you laugh
Out loud
Because he had captured
A moment
Identifiable to all
Who might be down range
From a prolific humor
That seemed
To have no end

Save for
That failure
Of memory
After eighty years
And a month
Almost to the day
That took its toll
When
Hiding passages home
To the clubhouse
The swimming pool
And finally
A simple corridor
That led back
To his room
Where
Everything would be okay
Because
Margaret would be there
To redirect
His thoughts
To something easier
Something pleasant
To remember
Like Happy Hours on Fridays
Kayaking on Yeopim Creek
Or the one about
How he had convinced her
That moving from Brooklyn
To Jersey City
Was a big step up
In the world
Without having to wade through
Calf-high water
In new Cordovan loafers

The one she always laughed at too
With a smile
Almost as broad
And commanding as his
And even though
She could not equal
The twinkle in his eyes
That sparkled so brightly
On those occasions
When she felt
He might have gone too far
You knew
She loved him dearly.

Ah lads,
The memory of our Eddie
A regular-beer drinker
A hot tub lover
A gentle man thinker
Is sure to be a happy one
Leaving an afterglow of smiles         
When day is done
Changing thunder and lightening
To a soft rainbow
Over the sound
Echoing through our minds
Repeating whispers
Of all the good times
Drying the tears of those who grieve
And smoothing the harshest frown
From the countenance of God
Bringing a smile to His lips
And a sparkle to His eyes
When He hears His servant calling:
Here am I, Lord.

                                                        ©2016 John E. Cashwell [All Rights Reserved]
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“Funeral Rain”

Beginning tiny drops
soft at first, but not to last
against stained-glass windows

                  funeral rain.
                                    
"Hiding Passages"

Hiding passages
even a simple corridor
to a way back home

               lonely failure
                       of memory.
"Specters"

Walking home alone
heroes of a heartbreaking war
they are only specters

               some starving, some crippled—
                       all most dead.     
                                                  
"Caissons and Caskets"

Caissons and caskets
amid knells of heavy bells
flags too, but none waving

               just fighting and dying
                       again.  
                                                     
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“Walking Home”

They were walking home
From America’s Civil War
Some healthy, some starving
Some crippled, almost dead
As the Suez Canal
Linked the Mediterranean Sea
To that other biblical water
Called the Red
While a hot new invention
Called barbed wire
Kept predators out
But fenced in
All the thin cattle on the range
And a new music
Called Ragtime
Replaced old recordings
Of “Cakewalk”
“Sweet Talk”
And other outdated things.

               
                                              
©2008 John E. Cashwell [All Rights Reserved
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