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THIS MEDIATOR (A compilation of poems on a theme)

by Glenn Currier

For a few months I have been adding installments to this poem, a compilation of others published separately. The poem is now complete! It is an attempt to describe the reactions and sentiments of a party in a mediation. Mediation is an emerging profession in North America in which the mediator assists two or more persons with a dispute to communicate and to reach an understanding, agreement, or reconciliation. Mediation is needed in the world now more than ever. I believe in it and it is from my passion for the process that this poem sprang.

1. The Leap

this mediator who
pops in to hear
the history of my pain
in a few minutes
or hours

presuming entitlement
to tinker with
my life
to throb
with my wound

using mind and reason
on the mindless
impulse and retort
on the snap
of fear and panic
on the thump
of hasty riposte

When I think about hurt
it seems like
mixing chartreuse and lime
or oil and water
or skating backwards
for the first time

audacious observer
sitting there
watching
as I undress my soul
asking me to do it
in the presence of
my enemy

here I am
about to leap
into these dark fathoms
not knowing
if I will swim
or hit bottom
or drown

2. What Passions Prowl?

this mediator
formed
by the conversations of

his comrades and enemies

his parents and peers

filled with the history of
his people and pastor
his lovers and teachers
his
wins and his losses
would his friends and kin

take the time
to notice me
take the risk
to be seen with me
spend a portion of
their wealth or
their care
their energy
on me

What passions prowl
what fondness
what fears
what sense
what meaning
what value

lurk behind

his calm demeanor

what men
what women
hide

or huddle

underneath his skin
and he says…
he’s neutral

gagging and choking
I pull from my gut
the long worm

of hurt and anger

putrid and
strangled

by the constrictions

of this battle
of her ego and mine

and this mediator
sits
Impassive
his calm
i
s it
serenity
or sham
is he as scared
of this conflict
as I

but still…

he listens
unperturbed by her protestations
unimpressed with the
fancy clothing
and dulcet sounds
of her argument

she’s kidnapped
my time

and here I am

paying her ransom
paying his fee

paying
my time
my pain

will he earn
and

will I pay
the coin
of my trust

3. Mustangs and Mules

he says
for now
my voice reigns
Mine the reins of my
mustangs and mules
badgers and Bengals
vipers and vultures
I measure
their
venom
and bite
my eyes rain
my drama
center stage

her smug smile
stings
like a hornet
unspoken disdain
spindly sarcasm
dig their dirge
their chasm
fetid claws
through
sediment
and seam
shredding and leaping
deeper
than I had feared

and as we
lance each other's
boils
this mediator
takes his
notes
notices
listens
listens
listens
his care
earns
the currency
of my trust

mustangs and mules

he says
for now
my voice reigns
Mine the reins of my
mustangs and mules
badgers and Bengals
vipers and vultures
I measure
their
venom
and bite
my eyes rain
my drama
center stage

her smug smile
stings
like a hornet
unspoken disdain
spindly sarcasm
dig their dirge
their chasm
fetid claws
through
sediment
and seam
shredding and leaping
deeper
than I had feared

and as we
lance each other's
boils
this mediator
takes his
notes
notices
listens
listens
listens
his care
earns
the currency
of my trust

4. High Hedges

our ferocity
all but spent
this mediator
softly invites
the unthinkable
meet her eyes
incredulous
staggered
I pause
and flush
this mediator
crazy
or courageous
gently bids
us converse

her sentences
and mine
clipped from
high hedges
planted in our
encircling bitterness
the taught skin
of face and knuckles
spawned by
convictions and sentences
decreed by our synapses

but still he stays

this mediator
being there
asking
affirming
resolute soldier
in our battle
firing
not a single shot
collaborating
with
no enemy
only
with
a faith
or hope
we can sense
living
inside
cracking
our crust's
hard guard
scratching
rust of rage
reviving
tarnished time

beyond ego's
battered barriers
gleam grains
of dignity
and
doubt
in our
tightly crafted yarns
in the
ferocious forts
protecting
positions

5. "Evening came and morning followed - the fifth day." [Genesis: 1:23]

this mediator
daring
summons us
from the seabed
of our cynicism
to storm our souls
to flee
evolution's crawl
to free
the creature
to unleash
our future

born from the depths
we float
we build a boat
we cast our net
we winnow
we harvest
we meet
we breathe

6. The New World

Cortez and Currie
Edison and Erickson
you minions
we chart
the outlines
of our new shore
we mine
assets
we plant
seedlings
we mend
torn cloth
we explore
possibilities

yes,

subcutaneous
fears and doubt
gray veins of pain
linger
prepared for battle

but now

we move
we shift
we crawl
we walk
we dance
we create
our future

7. We End, We Begin

this mediator
invited us to
throttle our trains
into this tunnel
without roads
into this space
where
we spilled our darkness
and made light

I do not adore
this mediator
he is no god
more like a
stagehand
subtracting obstacles
or
casting light
or a
farmer
spreading seeds

this mediator
is no darling
this opener
of wounds
this lover
never flinching
from puss
and spleen
splashed
upon him
this peacemaker
more courageous
than captain
or colonel
more daring
than Evil
infernal

I feel no glee
but more than that
I feel free
no longer hateful
but grateful
for this human being
listening
inviting
feeling
seeing
for all the advents
he is in
for this fresh future
I begin

05/22/2002

Posted on 05/22/2002
Copyright © 2019 Glenn Currier

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on 11/09/03 at 03:45 AM

Nicely done! I don't think I have ever read a piece I didn't like of yours! I look forward to reading more!

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 02/02/10 at 01:04 AM

Intensity expressed notes the risk and the reward that is always there. Mediation worth the cost if there is a desire to come to some resolution.

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