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The Web Poetry Corner

Kelly Fowler


Austin, TX, US

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Kelly Fowler

The sky was lower and dreadful then,
there because it suited God
as a blind to sit watch in
or a good place to hang his clocks.
We trembled if a mood
passed over the box.

Clever, sneaky, we learned God:
how to eat and mate, venerate
and hate, kill to show Who's great.
Surely that stone rod
would soften: we reported odd
behavior, and were never late.

The truth we then perceived
was simple as could be believed:
God was king, man his slave,
he cared more than anything that we behave,
and from the far beginning set
grizzly bedouin etiquette
around us as a sharp fence, and sent
dogs to drag us to his tent.



Kelly Fowler

Or is there a vicissitude of sea and land, as Anaxamenes
said of old the mountains of Thessaly shall become seas,
and seas again mountains?


Offshore the blue beach gleams through wrinkled air,
smoothed by confused surf pounding the white sea
to glints, and kids drive gold in cobalt sand
as far as strength and breath allow; a page
of true ultramarine joined by a stream of molten
gold to a page white as ivory isn't there.
Still they seek deep light, the wide places
where, when they arrive, they first can dream
of making the attempt. Almost too busy to feed
they are and are at sheer contour, the shared
edge of something and nothing, curving
in cold space, falling, arching
for hours aching, bone-yearning calling
it's orient root, like sad birds lost over water.

I felt it once, how deep need carves deep
red explanations on flesh that can only
receive them as joy; only need:
how else infect nothing with life
but pour life in it? That if it live
may one day drive away
through phosphorescent stoplights,
in the magnificent wake of an ambulance
graced, sometimes proud of their kind,
who go on for ourselves although
nothing matters, by ourselves because
nothing matters, like an endlessly exploding
jewel while justly everything else goes on:
drive into the rift the beach continues
it signs its gleam, the sky continues
reflecting white shadows of absent
mountains, a maritime illusion.