I am holding my children
together just look
in a meadow
on the banks of a
river the spectacle
(anyone who knows becomes god)
I seize as my right
a promise to betray
I know these things are separated
I am valuable
I am witnessing
(it is a good song)
words are pedantry
condemned the day before
the old preacher
and ties her shoes
long day coming just like
long days been coming
all her life
she runs a hand over
she thinks of days like shoes first one then the other
they all feel the same
they all hurt your feet
willa stands up again
another day another dollar
saving for a rainy day
wind blows in
busts up those
the sun breaks through like it’s some kind of hope
an irregular stone
polished smooth by all
these clenched teeth these
so many years
I’d expect it to shine
I’d expect all that copper
I’d expect handfuls of
blue backed with
slipping through my fingers like a radio dial
1 — about the indian and tea
the indian likes to drink tea.
he watches the infusion, the reds of rooibos swirling like blood in his mug.
he likes the way steeped heat warms his mouth, his hands, his fingertips.
(an ancient turned-earth smell clings to damp crushed leaves)
he savors the taste of life that lingers after the swallow.
he closes his eyes when he drinks.
2 — more about the indian and tea
the indian closes his eyes when he drinks.
he sees a moon-sized sun, an unknown flat horizon.
he sees fantastic animals and cardboard cutout trees.
he forgets he is just an old indian drinking tea in a cold river town.
he sips the last drop of sediment (of earth) and he remembers, he cools.
he rinses the mug with his eyes open, surrendering bitterness like a sacrifice.
inspired by Marvin Bell’s “dead man” poems
she stares at you with those eyes
on her hips so loud you can hear it
I can do that
I can do anything
and she does
now here you sit with your
tang is just a memory and you
hear the whispers
look look at the moon
can you see me
can you see me
and you look
she speaks monotonously to the bend in the wall. she drones.
outside this window the field is full of birds: pairs of killdeer, of canada geese.
a red-tailed hawk circles then lands on the broken goalpost.
I turn away; I turn into the cave of this room.
sun binds the space between us.
your mouth is a straight line — a vow of anger, of silence.
this branch like a small tree
kernels | summer edition 2013
he likes to drink tea
an ancient turned-earth smell
to damp crushed leaves
four and twenty | volume 6 issue 4