Today's poem is by John M. Anderson

These Gods are Known by the Shapes of Their Teeth

Spade-tooth, coil and axle-tooth.
The swinging blade and fluke tail. Every mouth
hollows black and the teeth peek hooded

from beneath coral lips, every face
otherwise the same blank sea.

Tooth of burning coal and ash pit,
lightning tooth and arrow barb.

When their mouths are closed we cannot tell

one god from another, when lips
purse to blow a great horn or whistle

a loping dog. Pressed together they are calm
as any terra cotta pot while thoughts storm
and swirl inside [ocean storms

bringing devastation to another quiet coast]
they all look alike-beach pebbles all, thinking nothing.

Copyright © 2009 John M. Anderson All rights reserved
from Southern Indiana Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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