And the river emptied and silver stream awoke

In a thirtieth moment water knelt to pray,
wringing hands beckoned rain
from a dwindling cloud,
lingering voice dry and brown;

Once, it walked through the cobbled
sleeping tufts of grass,
wading smoothly lingering in the sawdust dawn;

A drought between the essence and the shadow-
pieces of the river in the cellar earth
turning to dust;
the sage in the hedgerow hill listening
for the water rush;

A voice half heard but heard in the stillness,
trickling morning
silver stream, swallowing earth
sprawling soil,
spilling in the footprint river- licking field;
flowing water and the sandy road.

Copyright © 07/31/2016 lance sheridan®

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Review of my poem, moon over white water…

A pinnacle poet. Reading, I see myself, nose pressed between pages of Yeats, Longfellow, Browning. Whitman.  His poetry, I see as flowing streams, hear as melody…the words like prayers tuck themselves within all the cracks within my heart. Laura M. Bailey/writer

Old moon, born gray to this flawed earth,
Your light comes in with the tide’s

coming
When the sea washed the shore cold: waves
calm, straight; inquiring salt.
Cloaked by the night sky,
Extend your light like hair, plaited skeins;
The old myth of your origin,
You float near the old wharf, mouths
silted up; muted wood.

Of the north, midden with hate,
unraveled to a shallow pool, to a clearness,
Born pure, my brave love, dream,
lean to my wound: burn on, burn on,
Sweet kiss scorched by a red moon,
We heft flint, pulsed in veins, bindings,
Inseparable, below shoulders not once.

I walk wet on your border.
Rising, falling, as waves crest and trough;
I breathe your water, I rock you like
a boat across the sand carpet,
You clutch your bars, tight, tight,
I hold you on my arm: this is the fluid in
which we meet each other;
Waist down, darkness so pure.

Copyright © 11/28/18 lance sheridan®

Chances

The world is slow, turning through time.
Moonlight- luminous worm
Emptied into a distance,
Night sky empties its darkness
Into a you or me; a red sleep, I do not believe it.

The day is so poor suddenly,
Bare trees, a face, a mouth: black fingers in dirt
Ordering a growth in a cold earth;
The moles roar in my ears-
Echoes, echoes, am I a pulse?

I remember the minute, the wind was chilling
My face with its terrible look,
Coming at me with a meaning,
I saw the world in it- mean and dark,
Regarded me with attention.

And I said something, so dark suddenly,
Is this death coming at me?
It glided by- I felt the world in it,
I wasn’t ready for it. I had no reverence.
It touched me like a child carrying emptiness.

I have had my chances, all stitched into me
Like a rare organ; and I walked carefully
Like something scared; I thought too hard.
Looking through the thick dark perfect,
Jealous of anything- flattened soul.

I am dumb in my dead self, and it is sullen;
An eternity engulfs it; like a big sea,
It swallowed me like an instrument.
I should have murdered this- the horrors stand,
Licking corrosive rain. The dark earth drinks it.

I shall move, I cannot contain it;
My shadow is not a man: blunt, flat leaking
Into cracks- who will understand,
Who will love me? So predictable, so transparent.
Hands clasped, suddenly. I will recover.

Copyright © 12/06/18 lance sheridan®

Chances

In a plaster sea- published…

I feel the bottom with an anchor root:
It is what I fear
I listen for its shadows echoing
In stucco waves
White person that I am
Hated like a dead body
With yellow bones.

I am drowning, scared, rowing in a blue boat
Pacifist with a head of stone,
Unbreakable, but with complaints:
I will never warm up in a sea tin white,
Arsenic sunset, poisoned horizon,
Scorches my hands, burns them barren;
Flakes into pieces to feed buckets of fish.

I have become more absent-minded
More offish: criticizing them, criticizing me;
Secretly I am becoming a half-corpse
With a pargeting face, hardened into a row,
Coffined to a plaster sea
Waves carbon paper black, loitering tombs
Stalk me in a dream,

Nightlong, in a granite yard
Cliffed above the shoals:
Howling wind creeping up on me, vapors
Into my skin like a disease;
And everywhere people riding into church
Perishing one by one,
They will never miss me.

Copyright © 12/04/18 lance sheridan®

In a plaster sea- tb pub. in Spillwords 12-03

The tin of winter

In pale winter dawn
tongues of flakes
cease to speak;
birch trees stiffen into place,
waist-deep in a snowy mound.

Cold stalks through a sluice
of ice in a pond,
fish frozen in a swim,
hunger for a fisher’s hook,
prologue to a drown.

Blackened sky taunts
the clouded wind
anxious to drift
softly snow; headlong
into white reflections down.

On stilted legs, winter paints
a season long,
knowing not spring nor
summer warmth;
not haste for a thawing gaunt.

I remember that moment
and the cold wing,
when a dark sky emptied
its promise; you are so white
suddenly; endlessly snow.

Copyright © 12/02/18 lance sheridan®

The tin of winter

Andrew Wyeth

Moon over white water

Old moon, born gray to this flawed earth,
Your light comes in with the tide’s

coming
When the sea washed the shore cold: waves
calm, straight; inquiring salt.
Cloaked by the night sky,
Extend your light like hair, plaited skeins;
The old myth of your origin,
You float near the old wharf, mouths
silted up; muted wood.

Of the north, midden with hate,
unraveled to a shallow pool, to a clearness,
Born pure, my brave love, dream,
lean to my wound: burn on, burn on,
Sweet kiss scorched by a red moon,
We heft flint, pulsed in veins, bindings,
Inseparable, below shoulders not once.

I walk wet on your border.
Rising, falling, as waves crest and trough;
I breathe your water, I rock you like
a boat across the sand carpet,
You clutch your bars, tight, tight,
I hold you on my arm: this is the fluid in
which we meet each other;
Waist down, darkness so pure.

Copyright © 11/28/18 lance sheridan®

moonlight over white water