Glimpses of the Leader

to walk slowly beside and among

pillars or columns

yourself the pillar upholding

your own weight

caught by the cameras in a candid

moment of stately musing no

rather deliberation on matters of state

to be caught so

while meditatively pacing 

is to be truly known

as the single slowly moving but weight-

bearing column sustaining

the nation


recumbent pillar of the nation

naked alone and viewing

tv in a well-guarded bedroom

this evening you harvest

honey of self from the swarm

of pixels in the hive of the screen

tomorrow you will stand silent and weight-

bearing again lending

your presence to the annual roll call

and blessing of flightless birds: ostrich,

kiwi, dodo, cassowary, broad-

breasted white turkey

et al


Philip Fried has published eight books of poetry, most recently Among the Gliesians (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2020). Thomas Lux said about his poems, “I love Philip Fried’s elegant quarrels with the cruelty and ignorance of the world or, more precisely, its inhabitants” The Guardian twice chose his work for its “Poem of the Week” feature.


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