In a slogging rain

Wet drops out of the cotton-bag, rain falls
into the thirsty cobbled cracks,
Unearths the earthworm, seemed drowning
enough, twisted like a corkscrew
fleck,
Second carcass lies by the elm root, moles look
neutral as they place the headstones.

Blackened sky’s dome a sinister place, moles
with their white hands uplifted in
prayer,
Safe haven by an aging church — scarred by
an old war,
Below, stiffened in a family pose, the veterans sleep,
down there one is alone.

Outsize calloused hands open another vein,
delving for the appendages
Of centipedes and beetles — turn the earth over
and over,
And still the slogging rain falls, yet vanishes quickly
into the breach
The final surfeit of the cloud doors are just as far.

The shovel moves through the mute rooms of
clay and soil,
Pushing the roots aside like the mole grubbers
after the sweetbread
What happens, happens in darkness, then
vanishes,
Easy and often as a last breath.

Copyright © 06/28/17 lance sheridan®

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The burnt out sea

An old sea of dried mud and rusted sand.

How long the carcass fish, the blackened
tongue
The small crab eats what ate it once
The rubbished beach, the missing stone,
a sag-backed dune.

Their char of breathing still into the
broken throat
Iron entrails from a toppled ship
Seated beneath, the smelted stream-
Nourishes not in its lump of bones.

Copyright © 04/29/17 lance sheridan®

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Dirge for a tree

Born green in a flawed yard, in
speckled thickets
of fog-
Bonewhite in a peephole letting
in the nightlong
and the sounds of obsolete crickets,
A barren branch
sleeps with its dried veins in silting
soil and unmade
mud
Cloaked by a lidless sky
and the sounds of worms on
the lips of a toad
– – –
A wooded deer in a cunning
eats its bark
over and over the old age, no
life for a while
Each breathing gesture drains like
water down a
warren
fleeing in its alley holes down to
the wall
of the sea- into the cellars of
waves,
Into the small nostrils of sand and
the pots of fish.

Copyright © 03/24/17 lance sheridan®

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Point of Eden

Enter the cold no ones land of alone
A void stamped out with the aftertaste
of a funeral
Where a pulse rising from the grip of a knife
utters a name
Where the waking from a six o’clock
alarm clock is
rubbished into a draggled alley.

Of broken lives and sweaty faces contorting
like fingers on
a twisted sheet in a bad dream
Where a landlord dwindles back rent into a dirty
laundry bag
Trailing his four letter words through dim light
and sickly coughs-
Upraises a finger like a joint between two worlds.

A ghetto by the tracks where death, on pin-legs,
sentries, his utterances
Ungodly like a wakened head; chattering train
with white noses exhaling
Down into the gizzard of the city’s guts-
point of Eden
Render no share to those thick in poverty, to
those who lose by merely waking up.

Copyright © 03/22/17 lance sheridan®

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