The starlings have migrated to the Publications Gallery, along with the link to Paula Usrey’s always interesting newsletter. Another published poem has also been posted in the Gallery.
Celestial Mechanics was sent (for a number of years) to various literary journals and received more “came close” (like an asteroid?) rejections than just about any other poem I’ve submitted for possible publication. So I’ve decided to feature it here.
Fruit groves move the wind over pear-colored hills.
Speak of innocence: gold, sun-blushed
peel englobing sweet yet gritted flesh:
each pear is its mouthpiece. But
where orchards usurped oak, Armillaria
fungus takes root
the pickers arrive
by bus, cramped and sleepless
from the Imperial Valley’s
toxic soil. Consider
the bald daughter, her face
distended by prednisone. Smiling.
Fault the earth; we love
fiercely, demand take me
instead. A father, bereft, chants good-night moon
the thousand one nights
of his son’s life. The boy’s response
if you walk across air
I will become a little sailboat, and I
will sail away from you
does not cadence on the expected.
In the rift between them, mother and father,
a child floats
we love as we’re bound to
the earth, by hazard
on a black lake, no lights
on the boat towing her
no lights at all except
the saints in heaven
each on its own ring within the infinite
The inner tube she rides
is the startled O of the saint’s mouth
as a dove flies forth
as a cry turns strangely over the water
as her drunk father cuts the boat back around
and bears down upon her
she is the dove.