sample verse

Here are a few samples of poems sent out in response to our poem request portal here.

Sample 1

In crucible
mix the dark earths
with drops of the ocean.

On loom
thread the warp twine
with green bramble ribbon.

In silence
edge toward the inner spheres
magnetizing poles.

In company
wrap words about the archetypes
and incant.

In solitude
ground the electricity
transmuting the waters.

On hillsides
sketch the old tree folk
for philosophers.

And with love
polish the clattering
to a single song note.


Sample 2

Washed in the light of it, and dammed up
with a thought-fall that raised the level
to just below our noses.

We reach for the lever, and stammer
with a lurch to loose a cleansing wave.
It had rained for months.

And each drop, a seed of the crystal to come,
and each seed, a lattice of dreams
locked up in a cage,
and each cage, immutable and perfect.
we let it all go.

In a tumult, gravity did its work
sending seeds and drops over the others,
pouring into them

and turbulently roiling about them.
They grow in a cascade of ions
and turn endlessly on their axes of symmetry.

“I am this moment in Paris,”
you said, casting your mind back
to where it all began.


Sample 3

The rock melts into a lava lake, destabilizing the flanks
of our pedestal
and eroding those memories from the margins first.

It’s a revolt of the Earth, pulling at the threadbare
edge of us
and untangling the knotted core we bound.

All around, the banks of the hot river at Hveragerði
steam into our faces,
as we close our eyes against the sulphur.

And each key-tuned note of black rock, or white sinter
sounds clearly in the smog
of the boil, or in my remembered thoughts of her.

A gentle lure, lowered softly into that molten stone
might attract a crystal or two,
and only then, the growth can start again.


Sample 4

It’s about the packing of the grounds, you see?
And the boiling point, of course.
It’s about the screaming sounds, you hear?
As steam froths into milk.

It’s about the found pleasures in a cup,
like the reflections from the still black surface
or the bitter ratio rushing through me,
and that tonal clatter of brittle ceramics.

It’s about the mounds of bean-entrails,
all piled in cloth sacks. Those Finca fruits
that run through my fingers like desert sands –
like a dark-roasted note of home.

And it’s about the bubbling froth of a memory,
that ruptures and fades, but caught like a wisp
of smoke rising from our pipe
and filling your gentle soul.


Sample 5

Still standing in the doorway,
clutching at the dull ache wound
and staggering under the weight
of the heartbeat I can hear in my temple.
I fall onto her lap, and curl up,
like a mammal at nest in the nook,
or a bird in the down-feather places.
I suckle at the air, gulping it,
and extracting the essence
of our friendship,
drop-by bloody drop,
whisper by warm-breath whisper.
It’s that heartbeat metronome
that reminds me it’s late,
and that I ought to recall the moments
before we lose the last light
over our shared great salt lake…


Sample 6

I sit naked on stone
the valley rivulets running away from me
the salt-crusted waters trickling into me
the dry sunset airs folding over me
the first star shining down.

I sit naked on stone
the chalk-palmed rocks rise about me,
each built of well-trodden lime pavements
padded by the giants and snakes,
and now cracked, wolf-watched and barren.

I sit naked on stone
unmaking myself, unweaving the bonds
unwaking my adulthood,
and crawling to feel the dust in my hands.

I sit naked on stone
with my witchcrafters, carving their names
in the soft sediment
and popping the bubbles that drift on by.


Sample 7

You pulled at the albumin and shuffled the yolk
to the middle of the pan.
You poured the coffee into cups of unequal size,
scenting the wooden beams.
You etched bread thinly, citing the loaf’s holes,
parsing the components.
You thistled a kiss sideways to the golems
who assemble at table.
There, you optimized reflectance in the silk top
of amber and golden sauces,
and here, you flushed the airs and earth powders
cascading over it all.
You shared in the meals of misfit primes,
with Abbey stones in your shoe.
You upended the stained-glass in the temples
chronicled in my new mythology,
and you opened the grate at our roaring hearth,
where we dipped our bits of crust.


Sample 8

You sat quietly with me once,
loosening our focus on the solidity of things
and tugging at the weave beneath,

checking the warp and weft
against the pattern,
and unmaking some turbulent eddy.

You sat quietly with me once,
rocking forward then back by the fire
after the hailstorm had passed

when we glimpsed the hoard
approaching Granseal from the North
as we gathered our strengths.

You sat quietly with me once,
drawing a star down from the night
vault, a flare in the dark,

by the stream and roundhouse,
or with one hand on the standing stone,
enclosed by a story of old.

You sat quietly with me once,
printing – stitch by stitch – your love
onto the fabric of space between us,

pulling it down over my body
to warm me in golden circles,
and quenching my shiver in your arms.


Sample 9

Crow threaded his cough through the needle,
and stitched a glimpse of words,
it was a half-rhyme he managed
in the ash and gas of the early Earth.
The darkness of the in-between places
joining this or that cluster of stars;
at the lake expanse, the destination in void,
and the crucible of crows.
Fox, on the other hand, stalked the coming snows,
side-stepping any patch of bare soil,
and looking for an Icelandic hearth,
where the butter cake can be etched in eight parts,
and the feathered down is warm.
Unsure of herself,
Crow looks for the glassiest ice,
while Fox whispers to her,
his musings of flight,
and holds up the candle in the night.