33 degrees Fahrenheit over night.
Water and I, both inclined toward ice:
fine, that’s the law;
no reason for dispute;
dress warmly and tell the truth.
I would go a long way for truth,
(braving ice but a small price),
considering its beauty too, so rare,
its way largely unknown.
Please be with me; dress warmly.
Your garden is dormant.
Let’s sing the summer coming in,
about a walking stick, sing cuckoo!
We go coldly up the road.
Any observer would note our progress,
our cause being just; our pursuit cold,
He went among branch debris,
kept close lessons learned
so often mending the fence:
about danger to her, distracted;
about deer after succulent leaves
and blooms; about fractures
weakening whole trees, that,
shrieking, make gapes in the fence.
He had known six seasons of stiff winds.
He knew, without doubt,
of his right to silence:
among his neighbors
it was everywhere extolled.
Keith Moul's poems have been published widely for almost
45 years. Recently two chapbooks have been released: The Grammar of Mind (2010) from Blue & Yellow Dog Press and Beautiful
Agitation (2012) from Rec Ochre Press. In 2010, a poem written to accompany one of Keith's photos was a Pushcart nominee.
Living in the Triassic
I walked crosstown in the rain
To the Museum of Natural History
In search of what I'd seen in the desert
The polychrome Chinle layer, which here
Lies under Newark, New Jersey.
The past can't help but break through
In outcroppings, choke full
Of fossils, small intent dinosaurs,
And their preserved footprints, a placental
Cache of eggs. This was not
The Petrified Forest
Where the great mineralized trunks
Of former trees
Calved out of the earth itself
But rather the personal past
A museum full of displaced objects:
a jar of buttons
a suitcase full
the hidden violets
the Temple of
Jerusalem in a bottle
All these maps are the maps of time.
The four year old child
Is afraid of the snow
If he has to go out in it.
Is memory fixed, like trauma,
Or can it shift?
The chestnut tree
My grandfather planted,
The red Chinese mirror
With its silvered backing
To an unreadable calligraphy.
But you can imagine
What it says...
The little replica
Of the Parthenon
In my suitcase,
Trying to preserve
What cannot be preserved
Strobe lights lit the dance studio
Until the photographer
One draped figure
In the corner
And snapped the frame.
I saw the dustless mirror
Reflect Newark, New Jersey
I did not dust it
But it was perfectly clear
Reflecting cattails, barbed wire, prison, and airport.
In all versions, my childhood disappears
The developer cuts down
The copper beeches
I still fly over in my dreams.
Miriam Sagan is the author of twenty-five books, including the poetry collection, Map
of the Lost (University of New Mexico Press.) She founded and directs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community
College. Her blog is Miriam's Well (http://miriamswell.wordpress.com). in 2010, she won the Santa Fe Mayor's award for Excellence
in the Arts.
Tour of Modern Roads in the Kingdom of Genus
You could say that the red Go Back sign
deregulates traffic. Feet, fins,
every conceivable model swirls
through these alleged intersections.
We would be poorer, of course, without the scales
and slimes and pelts, all hurrying as if they’ve come
too late from their alleys, which coil like the guts
we used for augury back in the days
when all Go Back signs halted even the clueless
short of the midden. How freely they reveal
their intentions now, like wines diffusing
their bouquets, or pheromones their directives!
Those helices guiding your eyes to the right – see
where you’re looking? – also serve to clarify odors
for the scent-dependent, the more determinedly
snouted and muzzled, some of them inflamed
by the occasional corpseflower. Beetles
pave this last stretch – that’s right, the red is not
a carpet. Now, three turns around the Stone
from the Sky, whose veins form the glyph for Here.
Seeing Myself As I See
Others While Driving
As a piece of the traffic
a make, model and year,
a cause of exhaust,
a rack of mirrors.
Or as a figure in a Chinese
pinch of ink on a pine-rich
Michael Jones teaches at Oakland High
School in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, DMQ Review, and Rhino.