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W L Winter Apr 2019
As I arrive, I feel displaced, 
sometimes the white of the light
folds around what is not forgotten 

Cops on main street stealth by in
plain sight and drive an invisible 
line in search of new construction,
one finger always on the trigger

I spin around the moon three
times in a ritual of dancing
but someone presses the lever 
to the fulcrum and the music 
grinds to an incoherent beat

The university of suffering pools 
to pay the ransom but it's a difficult 
price, how does the great hive drive 
the machine when the box fan 
chops with no air left to breathe?

The great expectation never came, 
no excuses left, just empty storefronts, 
at night there is peace in the silence, but 
weeds forge in to fill the warm spots

I stuff the leftovers in my pack, hop in my
ride and open all the windows, and because
there's no reason to adjust the rearview,
I aim my headlights for someplace else
W L Winter Apr 2019
The storyteller reaches into his
pouch to grasp a weave of light,

His face like hand-tooled leather,
covered in designs carved by
obedience to the great wind.

The shape of his moon is to make
things grow, so he casts his tale
into the future, and knows that
myth takes root in the retelling.

He knows when yellow leaves fall
in the midst of an early spring that
blossoms push ebullient, one dexter,
one sinister, one tied to the central theme,

as fingers stretch through rocky soil,
and nuts spin into spiral cones,
and pollen rides the curling breeze.
W L Winter Apr 2019
My father, heart lean as a catfish
line, floats up a johnboat full of
channel pride, a sparkle where
his eyes used to be,

but tonight the cicada song is gone
with the bees, and so he, ghost that
he is, tramps the river mud and willow
screed down to the shiner slough heavy
with snakes and fever mists.

The feather moth clicks at my fingers,
his intent thick as honey in my bones
which stirs a memory of something sacred,

but the swift-water slough forgets small
heroics, so I sit and wait for prophecy
in the coming incantations of thunder,

where survival is inertia spun under
that flickering light, and time is relative
to the speed of falling.

The blood moon between clouds
penetrates deeper than my father's
eyes, but someday she, too, will be
a ghost, or so the thunder says,

and now it's up to me to figure how
to work this new directive into my
latest map of the wind, the one
that unfolds with no edges.
W L Winter Apr 2019
It takes not transcendent 
wire to swing the cut 
down to simple light

Feed the earth and herbs 
will kiss, and good intent 
is better than nothing

First thought, best stroke, 
common sense a prerogative 
if left unfiltered and sweet

Silver wind moon breath 
blows & throws through 
fences long like old songs

Avert not your kindness from
the stranger, but neither 
give that ****** full purchase

The constant throat of the 
highway a great wash, but let 
not used tires displace trees

No ladder-master fears the 
downsize of a smithereen, but 
a field of goats is fine as a fair

Waste bread and you are sister 
to evil, and fast food is a slow sword

When seasons change let your 
heart be glad, but ***** not 
against the steel-gray sky

The hearth is the crown of the traveler,
in the familiar bed a cache of memories

The beauty of ashes, they cling to a sense of shape,
a cluster of golden leaves is but a spark in the wind

The song of the end has flutes for edges,
and a bucket of seasons swings a wide circle
W L Winter Dec 2016
The strange familiar flew up out
of the past, it had been hiding there
for centuries, or even days, and it
wrapped around my room, the
walls offered a sliding berth

It carried the color of the evening
sun shining through rosemary,
but had no definite face

Just look at the odd stones and you'll
see what I mean, bulbous round objects
of language captured crystalline

I determine at this moment to build
an amplifier so that I can study
the sound of my choosing

Bring Miles Davis into the mix and
watch the atmosphere change
W L Winter Nov 2016
Used to be the woods were
a great expanse of familiar
mystery that spread for miles,

now beer cans and cigarette
butts mark the beaten path,
only the ghost of mystery on
display at the public park

The only big trees left are the
cottonwoods and the sycamores
with beautiful leaves and useless
wood, the big oaks all gone,
harvested long ago

What did this land look like
200 years ago before the ache
of commerce laid the roads,
and the spread of farms tilled
the prairie grass into red dust?
W L Winter Oct 2016
I read your foreign label,
I brewed a Polish stew, I  
know it all sounds crazy,
but that's all up to you,

try not to get yourself worked
up, I know it's hard to take,
unclean men all touch the meat
while rich men eat the steak,

and the bird outside your window,
she sings an lonesome tune, while
the old man with the box guitar
plays to an empty room

There's a shadow on the
windowsill, a long hospital hall,
the nurses drag machinery
past bad paintings on the wall,

and in the cubbyholes of rooms
your mama sings a song,
"don't worry little children,
by now it won't be long",

and up above the flashing
lights the choppers swing
down low, and the statue of
the Jesus stands with both
both hands full of holes
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