We strode dumb with creation, mercy us,
(Our hands our feet) moving fast free smooth right
Over marble floors, their own whispered trust.
Like lines from letters returned unopened
That shadow-born servants could not ignore,
You looked. We looked, for what wasn't spoken,
But found only the falling of the shore.
Our faults seemed arrows that refused to fly,
Relics from a time when kindness was vice.
Still, I tried. And still their still tips woke in me
Words of wanting, like cats sing songs of mice.
They named new names for why waters weave,
Drawn back like the last bow from our sleeping sea
At dawn: Alexander and Genevieve.
They're killing giraffes now
dark-skinned children smile
behind cameras for the cameras.
Adults nod, certify animals,
as cattle stranded
on shrinking islands
die slow and shit-stained,
and then there's Coke,
"Eternity is good for you."
Deep in the forest,
Where spears of daffodils
Do battle with waking trees
And midnight tramplers taunt
The owl people with their cries,
Above a delicate ruin of violets,
Stars will spread
Their dreadful magnificence.
You will come,
From a wooden cup.
Your face will reveal
A pale dreamscape,
And I will read you
The eight breathless poems
Stolen from the ancient cities.
The best poems are the big spoons
And know just where to touch
A stanza's curves so that it swoons
At just before too much;
And they please each line by clasping
Each word in loving tongues,
You'll know them from their gasping,
The best poems swell the lungs.
The child chants in the kitchen.
We killed saints for what they knew.
Still, one shouldn't whine
When our holy count so few.
Though in a handful of line
Some ink has broken through.
Any poet who pens
Ten years or more
Might scribble none or two.
Then how do
I ignore this all for you?
I ignore this all for you.
Nathan Woods, editor/overlord