featured in the poetry forum October 24, 2017  :: 0 comments

The sky will close inside a willow
like all the blue riddles, like all
the scientists a million winters after
all the leaves fall.

I have not danced much with the sky
or its lightning, or along the dirt road
where the river birds refuse their wings
and begin gaping up from their roosts
because the moonrise squeezes against
every feather and reveals the distance
they must migrate against their own shadows.

Same for my mother, a widow now,
chopping out bamboo roots, because
they have inched to the basement wall,
and so far they are only growing parallel
to the cinderblocks. It’s not a dream,
she says, not a home for a bear cub,
or the ghost beagle, or baby chickens
teasing after June-bugs. It’s the work
asleep in itself, beginning to end.

editors note:

When where we want to be is not where we are. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 7, 2017  :: 0 comments

The boat is gray that wakes from inside
the anchor, 300 feet down, where divers
laugh at empty oxygen, because they’re
skeletons eating Halloween clam-shells
from the eyes inside the planks. Air
dissolved in this water feels like bait-fish
hooked to a thumb, scraps of their fins
are almost starlight at the surface. The boat
meanwhile is drifting like an island full of snow
that melted from a dinosaur’s spine feathers.

I wish I could tell you how to dive
inside a molecule, not like in a magic movie
computer camera trick dubbed in hieroglyphics.
It’s more like the creature that sells heaven
to angels. And it’s more like a castle shrinking
around you, everything on top of Atlantis,
everything’s crazy dream, like prophesying
fish bones and oyster shells fattening the invaders
because somebody used to be a saint up a palm tree.

I wish I could also build you a house in Atlantis
where you could fry pancakes, and sing the blues,
and watch a herd of stegosaurs evolve into willows.
At the end of the year, you’d be ready to surface.
And I’d be strumming along. The door doesn’t lock.
The kids swim with dolphins. There’s a boat
on the roof, and it sings, too. The sky lives there
and it is wishing for itself a world.

editors note:

We can create, like the creator(s); they started with a word – as do we. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 21, 2017  :: 0 comments

Speed changes the hum from a shadow
to a wall, from a finch to one wild shoat
scrounging through the reeds, oinking
where the parasites have married its voice,
and the herd has wallowed and rooted away
the swamp. Speed is impossible here.
Predation is real. This gator-sized spider
is cupping sunlight in its web. This python
that whispers your name can squeeze stars
through its ribs. The snake’s heart is silent
even when its rough jaws distend around you
and most of the world feels like a gunny sack
on its tongue. The hum is like water spooned
from a cactus far away. You keep wishing
until God does all the wishing for you. You
have felt like running faster than all the water
you are walking on, because the sea is rising.

editors note:

The water’s span from predator to prey, only a prayer’s breadth away. (We welcome Clyde to our crazed conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 29, 2016  :: 0 comments

Three crinoids and a brachiopod in one stone for a fiver,
or a spiraling stalk of an eye cradling the Tethys Sea, perhaps
an eye, perhaps the whole lily-animal reintegrated with death,
something more fossilized in a mirror. It distorts the museum.
It rounds the floor like starlight squeezed back into the stars.
The security footage shows how we blinked and grinned, waiting
for our kids to escape the auditorium. Effie swore it crooked
out of its stone and sprouted green gills. The camera shows zilch.
Just us, standing there, you made a face at our gift card,
bought two picture books, and a key chain. The creature now,
in no other light, has wrinkled eternity beyond us.

editors note:

What else makes purchase as we exit the gift shop? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 30, 2016  :: 0 comments

A friend called long distance stoned in Maynooth.
Said she was rooked. Said the air felt hacked from a wall.
An owl, if it was an owl, was shrieking like a tomcat.
She said something flew across gravestones, married
to her eyes. I heard but more imagined her words. Compared
the dark horizon to her raincoat, the distance to a short circuit
in her voice. There was silence, no voiceovers. A car door
wedged itself into radio waves. I imagined her lips moving,
her words inside the filaments of street lamps. College kids
slipped by. One of them propped a wallet on a gravestone.
She said a taxi drove by. She said it was turning around.
She said she could jump into the street and listen for brakes.
She asked if I could hear the brakes. I said I heard static.

editors note:

What gives in the white noise. – mh clay