Rich Man, Poor Man

Rich Man, Poor Man

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

Rich Man, Poor Man

de-ice the refineries
shut off the engines in the garages
of the freezing mothers and children
doing a Plath "mouth in the sheet"
carbon monoxide dreams
elevate them all to heaven

the lights of the skyscrapers 
an elusive rainbow
while the edges of the spider's web
weave darkness in disparaged hearts

interstates of jackknifed immunity
a warming globalizes into a deep chill
the blankets are soaked with the sweat
of frigid beads

the rosaries are frozen
in the dead hands
of the victims
of those in charge

who cannot create a charge
to unlock the dark grid
and divvy up the rainbow rain
among the imprisoned flies

with a warm breath to consolidate 
shivering lives into one mindset
one heart set



© 2021 jacob erin-cilberto

My Review

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A very dystopian sound to this one. Also a condemnation of those in power, whose mistakes have led to situations where people are freezing for lack of electricity and are victims of climate change. Not sure of the symbolism of "rainbow rain," but indeed, a lot of people are hurting now

Posted 3 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

2 Days Ago

Yes, many are hurting...thank you for your words, John,
Brilliant write. People trying to keep warm when the electric has been out for days. Are you writing here about the big freeze in Texas and how that state has ground to a hal? I heard many had died of bitter cold. Your reference to Plath here inspiring. I see those people in garages trying to keep warm in their cars unaware of the danger they are in. The rosaries won't help them, who will? Hard hitting this one, more so because it is taking place now. Great work Jacob.


Posted 3 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

3 Days Ago

thank you for your very kind review, Chris,
How society relies on our utilities to all be working otherwise lives are in jeopardy be it a harsh winter or a bushfire summer. The perils of living are upon us in ways we have never seen before.

Posted 3 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

3 Days Ago

absolutely, they are...andrew...they are.
One of my father's favourite sayings, which I well remember from a very early age, is, 'we'll all be in trouble when the shilling goes.' It's a reference to the days when domestic gas and electricity was only available through prepay meters, a shilling, (20 of them to the £,) being the only coin such meters accepted.

Rings as true in today's high dependency world, as it did when he first made mention; and your poem is a chilling reflection of the changing times and how easily what we take for granted can be gone in an instant.

That second stanza in particular really hits home.


Posted 4 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

4 Days Ago

thank you for your insightful review, Beccy....I always appreciate your visits.
So terribly Sad... our great State of Texas gone Mad... with Freud figures and freezing hearts beating solemn Drums until Kingdom come. A Revelation Prediction of things to come. Mourning Moments. Hell is at Hand... across
the Land. Amen

Posted 5 Days Ago

jacob erin-cilberto

4 Days Ago

My folks lived seven years in Port Arthur back in the late seventies.
and I have some good fr.. read more

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5 Reviews
Added on February 20, 2021
Last Updated on February 20, 2021


jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL

Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..


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