ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Louis Phillips



Morning lay heavy hands upon me,
Pulling me awake.
Counterweight to the world,
Let the days take

What turns they will, deep gashes
At the sea’s floor,
Where exotic creatures
Devour exotic creatures. Hour

After hour promises the same,
Reality shoes
Pinching toes
Suffering of strangers creating news,

So what shall we do? Pull back
Curtains to allow
Amazements of light 
Fall where they will, an overflow

Of dazzlements & brief breathings,
Our minds agape
With yearnings half-released,
Pretty packets of desires to shape

What we have become. So much
Is true & untrue
When later in the day,
Darkness slides through.
Darkness also knows how
To fill our rooms with overflow.



The morning slipped
Into reality.

My parents
Worked 5 days a week
9 to 5,

Then on Saturdays
9 to 9.
How did they find time

To breathe,
To do food shopping,
To fix the toilet?

At least world wars
Were far away,
& they were blessed,

3 healthy children,
Steady work,
A roof over their heads,

But even they
Cd not remain oblivious,
Tho they were not among

The dead or crippled.
Even under
The best of conditions

 History makes skeptics
 Of us all,
 But what shd we do

 Without doubt?
 What a shining castle
 That is. Rooms for rent.

This morning
I leave my house
With my head in my hands

Trying to convince myself
That God is not cruel.
Millions of the faithful

Put to death
By the unfaithful.
Make sense of that

If you can.
At night, with ulcers,
My father tackled

The Daily News,
Burdens of injustice
Shaking our small house

Where everyone
Felt welcome.
On Sundays,

My father golfed,
My mother
Drove my sisters & me

To Catholic Church
Where I counted
Bricks on the wall.

& began to wonder
About a God
Who helped Nazis

Years later I learned
Pope Pius XII
Had a back channel

To Hitler.
I shd have gone golfing
With my father.



All about us
Running fires of what might have been.
How puzzling it is to live.

From Ymir’s body
There flows a river of blood.
This too is another way to measure love.


Louis Phillips is very happy to be a part of Offcourse. His most recent book of poems is The Music of Light Regret (World Audience Books). He blogs through Word Press about Bits & Pieces of a Misplaced Life.

Return to Offcourse Index.