Today's poem is by Joseph Bathanti
The moon leavens.
Clumps of petrified potash gleam
like fists in the furrow corrugation.
Gymnosperm spills in the couch grass.
Cropheld and fallow there is more
beneath the sole than upturned by the harrow.
The one pact is earth, its boil and pitch.
Rest against it. Be snatched away.
Listen for fire gouting in the hearths
and tapers of the underhouses,
the Purgatorians chanting Evensong,
spinning dust singlets for their children
seining the Smoke River for bonefish.
Down there the tallow's blue
from the everburn of igneous.
The sky is parchment, the roof you walk upon.
Each dawn, a heart-shaped sun sets it smoldering.
Perhaps the dirt is simply what the field hoards
its grief in, and we must turn away,
ride with all speed from the grave.
But stay the fields, spread your oilskin;
it's all under there:
arrowheads and potsherds, buttons and teeth.
You still love the woman who left out in a gale
from you flat and mumbling on a swith horse to midwife,
left you nothing but the writ's insistence
that there is no death,
left you to chap with the earth.
Do you hear her rising, the rustle
of dirndl, the passel of hungry
little ones mewling in grass blankets?
There where the earth knows to open,
her hair like solstice wheat the day of gleaning,
going grey, but in the moonlight like milkweed
surging out of its pod.
Even the unimagined returns.
Copyright © 2009 Joseph Bathanti All rights reserved
from Land of Amnesia
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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