Ammonis, Dead at Twenty-Nine
by Bernard Henrie
I cannot remember the date of your birth,
or color of your terracotta pots.
I struggle to recall my academic papers,
the subject of my visiting lectures.
I lisp when speaking Greek, when I can
speak at all. A doctor whispers one word,
I try to remember under the Parthenon’s
darkening columns. I brood over Homer’s
poetry like Ulysses over battle maps.
Bernard Henrie administered social service programs in Los
Angeles County for twenty years before becoming a staff writer
for an environmental publication in southern California. His
publication credits include MiPOesias, Shampoo, Boston
Literary Magazine, and Quarterly Literary Review
Singapore. Four of his poems were anthologized in The Wild
Poetry Anthology and The Pirated Poetry Anthology
published by Farfalla Press. In 2007, Henrie’s poem “The
Western Ghats, 1959” received second place in the Interboard
Poetry Competition judged by Mark Doty.
On “Ammonis, Dead at Twenty-Nine”:
If there is a greater tragedy than death at an early age
it is that memory dies, we forget. I have listened to men and
women, blotto in some fashionable watering hole, say they
want to forget. I pray they never get their prayer answered.
I like poems that work with images, strong and fresh as
possible. The reader decides, the reader remembers with the
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 4, Number 2
Copyright © 2009
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors