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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 May 2017
Your nickel wage seems about
right for now, it'll do while I work
up the shuffle to the Graintown tune.

We pound guy-line stakes under
winter wheat while the farmer
peers out his pick-up, anxious,
counting future shekels.

The days are a string of tongs
and pipe and bad café biscuits.
I throw my greasy boot because
my buddy snores like a beast. This
old hotel smells like wasted ***.

The day-crew driller buys a gallon
of whiskey every night, his boys throw
it down behind the windshield and
chatterbox about some skinny waitress.

The tool pusher comes and brags
he poached a couple of mallards.
I don't join in with the rest because
that fat **** laughs too loud.

A few of these old-timers earned it
solid. They took me under their wing,
so I bought one a good bottle but the
hangover made him slide back

home to some mama standing
over a stove. Then they hired
some local worm to fill his shoes.
Things went downhill from there.
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
W L Winter Oct 2016
There's a flutter in the page,
not of my own doing, just a
natural product of controllable
instances, the toad frogs are singing
the autumn song, they prepare for a
good long sleep guided by the moon,
the song they sing is measured,  
regardless of urban influence,
a primal beat holding fast to the
continuance of life from the mud
of the golf course creek
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