In an Unfinished Honeycomb:  An Old Story

As lichen on a rock expands, so you grow
in love on the lap of your mother until —
smothering her presence you burst aglow
into green adolescence. Seldom still,
you run before the bulls, climb peaks, favor
dreams to feed your striving. Oh saboteur
of mild, homespun days! Consider the core
work of bees, how they nourish our
lusting  yet protect our prey. Just as dying leaves
feed the bulbs of flowers long past their bloom,
the humble bee waxes the circle, relieves
prodigals with salving honey, importunes
the queen who fills wellsprings
with the only breath that can move her wings.

 

On Looking into Post-Modern China

After Reading Keats’ Ode on Melancholy

On the Delta, a constant din — hammer on metal,
hacksaw on iron. Bare feet in oil, children haul black gold from tankers,
odor of naphthol.

Our guide protests my camera. I assure him
of its filter: coal pyramids will become kings’ tombs,
gray smog, storm on the horizon.

On the Yangtze, eight hundred thousand people with pick ax
and shovel are burying their homes. An old woman
sews. She sits on her stoop

pulling thread through cloth while
the river coups her feet, lap, hand holding the needle.  Ah . .
Beauty that must die,

In this fevered war against your return, why
hasten so your demise?

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2 Responses

  1. G. M. H. Thompson

    I like “On Looking into Post-Modern China” quite a bit– it is very well executed free verse. Contrary to popular opinion, sonnets don’t actually have to have rigid meter, although they, on average, fare better when they do. Your poem demonstrates that free verse sonnets can be as expressive and interesting than their more popular formalist cousins. And I also like the rich industrial imagery employed. Very well done.

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