Southern Illinois Spring

The pond I fish
holds an offering of sky within
the water. I cast into clouds —
draw them close on the
ripple of a wave.

Geese warble
silently past my boat as
they fly at the waterline.
In the depths fish lurk, hidden
by a thunderhead — their darkness
masked by the gray, moving
forms rolling, building above.

Water spiders dance upon the
mirror surface flecked with dust
of protozoa. A breeze kicks up.
I pull on the oars, slicing
through steely sky. I draw
to shore as the rain begins.

Millions of ripples intersect
each other, unbroken as they
expand, dividing the sky among
themselves until the choppy water
arises in petulant waves. Fish
surrender to the moment
of anarchy, thrashing, striking
wildly at the line I cast again
and again. The sky takes
back itself and returns
water.

——

I’m not sure how many years ago I wrote this, but it’s in one of my chapbooks.

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Linguipotence

Have you heard?
Hold a raindrop.
Peel apart the petals
clasped within.

Count the flowers
tumbling down
through this long interlude
of rain.

Infinite vibrant colors
lie hidden in the clear,
in the white haze between here
and the far tree line

bereft of leaves,
clothed only in droplets
trailing down
to the brown winter ground.

Hold breath
until the spring. Watch the sky,
alternating ashen gray and blue-faced,
fade away to night.

Night after night
until the gift arrives
of warm light dappled color
glowing through the green,

rising through our shoes
and raining blossoms down.
None of it seems possible now
but that’s the word.

=====

I should be saving all these for some theoretical publication, but I never do.

For dVerse Open Link Night 129

Refresh

Dusk drinks down
October rain,
autumn color,
the road ahead

which shortens
to a halogen halo
seen through the slap
of windshield wipers.

Follow the staccato pulse
of the yellow center line.
Tunnel through night.
Reach home

to snug beneath a blanket
and dream daylight
until it pours the world
back around the house

as if we never traveled in darkness,
as if nothing were ever lost.
===

For @dVersePoets Open Link Night.

He Thinks He’s an Artist

The cool walk of rain
across the field
with its countless feet
blue buzz reciprocal blade
whining shriek as it cuts
floor boards
water and blood in wooden boxes
tung oil smooth sealed
paper umbrella
sways over
departing figure
from farmhouse
no one sees or knows
the effort involved
the weight of the body
so many pieces
neatly disposed

===
This fractured bit of macabre for @dVersePoets Open Link Night. Posting there at 2 p.m. CDT.

A condensed, clearer variant, or at least one interpretation:

artists, ghouls,
shoot poses
of the dead
they rearrange,
sometimes reassemble.

From Heaven

Rain gathers at the lowest point
and rises to meet its level.
All the old scars are hidden,
some carved deeper, while others
fill with rich deposits
from far distant loss.

O swirling calm, placid roar,
a drink and a drowning in one,
meet me halfway, we pray,
yet we receive
what heaven sends
regardless of words we say.

Drink to the depths, then rest
as bleached and broken bones.

Past History

Olduvai Gorge

Flocks of stone
huddle
over bones–
layered wingspans interspersed
with soil and skulls, long femurs,
the delicate finger bones of a child.

Earth is eased loose,
sleep’s feathered realm disturbed,
drawn into reality
with ungainly names:
Australopithecus boisei,
Homo habilus,
Homo erectus.  Look
into the eye socket.  Count
the missing teeth.  Plumb
depths of self
arriving at this strange face.

Brow ridge and heavy jaw
push out against skin,
brain case shrinks,
reduced to smaller thoughts.
Hunt.  Eat.  Hide.  Mate.  Sleep.

The world is dry Serengeti bush, is
an empty wash
filled by occasional rains,
is a small band
surviving.

Olduvai Gorge

Flocks of stone

huddle

over bones–

layered wingspans interspersed

with soil and skulls, long femurs,

the delicate finger bones of a child.

Earth is eased loose,

sleep’s feathered realm disturbed,

drawn into reality

with ungainly names:

Australopithecus boisei,

Homo habilus,

Homo erectus.  Look

into the eye socket.  Count

the missing teeth.  Plumb

depths of self

arriving at this strange face.

Brow ridge and heavy jaw

push out against skin,

brain case shrinks,

reduced to smaller thoughts.

Hunt.  Eat.  Hide.  Mate.  Sleep.

The world is dry Serengeti bush, is

an empty wash

filled by occasional rains,

is a small band

surviving.