You come from a long line of peasants,
you made a history of hunkering down,
of getting by, of making something
out of less than nothing,
of sly subversion behind
Among your graves,
among the sowers and reapers,
the plowboys and goatherds,
the drunkards and healers,
are the graves of your lords and ladies,
as mute as the sunlight streaming over
hillock and headstone alike.
You haved loved them all,
in their soft flesh, in their joy
at being among the living,
in the depth of their bones
bleached under God knows
what sun or clay.
When you emerge, finally, blinking,
into the stumbling sunlight,
who will find you,
for whom will you pine?
My country is like the willow
envious of the sky piercing oak
unaware that the tall, stiff,
top-heavy and shallow rooted
oak, standing amidst the remains
of its kindred, pines for
the resilience of the willow
I sit under the unbroken sky
baby blue, no jet trails
and think of other days
so like this, a longing ago
when everything was alive
with wonder, when the sun
meant promise and possibility.
Under the unbroken sky, I sit
pining for the occasional cloud,
wishing up, as they say, a storm,
a world in my head
awaiting its cue.
This first appeared in Exileschild 11/22/16. Strange how poetry adapts to its context.
How swiftly came the killing season
swept in from hinterlands
just when we had remarked upon
the sameness of it all.
How soon the must-not-be-named
Weren’t we standing there,
thinking how wise it was
to not raise a ruckus
about minor disturbances,
how preferable to simply
turn our backs to the foul wind?
What good will be our platitudes
Between the sacred and the profane
there is not a sliver of difference.
We are luminous, we are crude,
we are crudely luminous, we
spill our lives into the sharp
vessel of time without a stray
moment left behind, without
an inch of depth undisturbed,
unperturbed, benighted as a breeze
in Hell, which, if we only knew it,
is Heaven held upside down to
let us trickle into new carnation.
Bah! I’m tired of this twaddle
of infinite souls to the manor
of eternity borne. The least is the best
of us, and the grandest star in the cosmos
destroys itself for our amusement.
The joke is that we are made of it.