Born of flesh and ghost

Before the gallow crosses where necks
Are snipped
And dreams are brambled,
Where bones twist into a watery mixture
And blood runs foul,
My heart knew of love- hungered for skin and vein,
Now smells the maggots,
Wringing siphons in my liver.

My throat slakes before the wooden structure, my
Mortal soul
To be struck down by death’s crooked feather;
Remember me, I wrote poetic,
Paper sundered from bones of worms-
Dawn shuts their earthen nothings as they swell,
I soon to hurry to their deepened holes
Down in the yard of her day.

Rejoicing, she dances over my skull,
Blowing shadows
Of a kiss, welshing faith, marrowed fly,
Lying likeness of love,
Quick, this is the real world;
One-sided skin of truths- a loth dream
That kicks the buried from their coffin sack;
Of our two sleepings, I never fell awake
(The photograph is married to the eye).

N35 Born of flesh and ghost

No longer the summer child

Lays the gold sun tithing barren,
Of doubt and dark feeds the sea clouds;
Jack of frost’s fingers cold upon
The pots of fish- wagging shafted wind
On shapeless beaches; splits the wombs

Of tidal pools, dogdayed pulse of summer
Ringing out like a black-tongued bell.
The lame air leaping from its heat,
Now painting ice in the throat of a child,
Shall she be of nothing, shuddered voice

Drained of her words. Shut too, the water’s
Speeches, its salty voice now a thorny spire
Of frost; winter’s tongue punishes the seascape,
Dark-voweled gulls four winded spinning
Into the seaweeds’ iron, choked in the tides.

No longer the summer child, mussels dried
And dying in the pouch, in the grip of cold;
The sleepy man of winter travels the whale road,
Wave and froth choked, combed into a wreath;
Drowns the warmth, foreign to a weather.

Copyright © 11/10/2019 lance sheridan®

N35 No longer the summer child

Where once the reeded pond

Where once the reeded pond
Spun into the mud screws,
Now the dry dust ghost wind blows
Through the dead fish eye;
Where once the heron through its shallows
Pushed through the green weed hairs,
Now the brackish roots lay in a corded decay.

Invisible, its water level once with colored lid,
Now latched into a clay bed void;
Stones, once submerged, now zig-zagged
Into earthen channels;
There shall be wildlife parched, and the
Milk wood drought in the dry womb dirt;
Carved birds blunt into kindled nests.

Shall there be rain, or outlawed into a dumb-down
Trickle, a naked fall into the pastures of worms;
They woke to a hearing in a priested morn
With water praying and the speckled drops;
A reeded pond bent over like a beggar,
Putting moisture into its dry clay cup; where
The rain runs, you shall push out your shores.

Copyright © 11/03/2019 lance sheridan®

N36 Where once the reeded pond

In the sea entirely

Herring gull, I saw you today
Flying in the hills of clouds,
You did not leave the fish,
You did not leave the hooks.

Yes yes, I know what I heard,
Dear bird, I heard you hurrying,
All the fish did with a view.
Can you cannot count entirely.

Can you recollect can you remember
What day it was that you took to the wing.
Today and day after tomorrow.
No you do not and I am so uneasy.

Did you surprise in whitecaps revisited.
All the time.
I understand why you are not better liked.
You do so and very well.

The fish have been very annoyed by
Your impertinence.
You have endeavored to do so
But without success.

Sincerely yours and not carelessly,
The rest of the afternoon.
You see the explanation of this.
The fish will not be pleased altogether.

In the sea and for the sea.
I do not mean that I criticize.
It is not necessary to tell me
That the fish will suffer-

Dear me it is getting late.
This was not done.
Now as to the word meal-
In this way you cannot conquer;

Looks to me. I say nothing.
Indeed you are discreet and timid.
The land is very near and is seen
And the shore fixes it.

Not necessarily here it is more
A means to satisfy myself;
I am obliged to be careful or not.
This has ended very well
(Some fish are very happy).

Winslow Homer - The Fog Warning, 1885

When the white dawn first

Let the wild, thronging train of waves in
Their misted procession of eddying forms,
Sweep through my soul.
Is this then dawn as thick beads of clouds
Cluster above the agate stoned shore.

On white shoulders of sand, deep cupped
The night-wind routs through the portico of
Morn, all drenched in dew.
Come forth sun, to the ivy-wreathed horizon,
Of thy cup, the bright glancing vines light

Furrows into the sea; here and there, harnessed
Into tides; the clay-laden lonely streams-
Sandbars at the prow, guides them in long robes
Of ivory; long-heaving, violent sea;
Like a loaded boat, it swings groaning.

In groping blindness comes a storm, the maddening
Swells. Scorned white hairs of lightning jutting,
Crawling like shadows. Oh, where are the echoing
Oars of seamen passing through the stems of
Darkness, startled in the unknown sea.

Through the rough planked ghostly images,
Up the sea valley-head, comes the dappled
Sunset, all drenched in wet. The sky all silent.
On horizon’s altar, this bowl. I drank and sunk
Down sleeping. More soft; aye, but to dream.

N29 When the white dawn first

Wandering between two worlds

Through rocky crag the thick wind blows,
Thick the heather darken rounds,
Past the iron fog disused, the muted bridge
I cross; slow the mule track I wander-
Through forest, through valley soft-suffused.

The autumnal evening far down, with strangled
Sound, doth the rivulet complain; where the mist
Swift rush the spectral vapors white, past
Outcropping’s scars with ragged pines, then
Blotting from my sight; through cloud drifts wet

And drear, the Bothy doth appear on higher mounts
Up the ancient encircling glen; I gaze- through the
Showery twilight grey, what slated roof for shelter;
Approach, for what I seek is here; alight with sword
And battle ax, a gallóglaigh, stone-carved basin cold.

Silence, with no organ peal, I knelt, then rose from
Dirt worn floor where he sleeps, that wooded bed-
Which shall be his coffin, death in life; and what
Am I, that I am here? A knight, purged in faith, at
Whose behest long ago possessed my soul again.

N26 Wandering between two worlds

Two hands, not a mile

My life is not gentle, it is black and hopeful,
Anything can astonish a citizen;
The mischief lies in getting the wrong ones.
It seems a splendid day, I believe in crops.

Does it proclaim satisfy a woman, I was not
Certain of my mother. I do not. I saw her in a
Doorway, leaving; there is a cloth where I have
Water; I do not determine selfishness.

She had deep set trustworthy eyes, once, dark
Like her hair; light flesh colored life: my father
Wondered about islands. He did not forget a war.
They called it the great one, before they knew to

Number them. He missed that clarity. I begged not
To. I prayed for him. I believed and so he was. What
Is a death. I cannot see what I shall a bit in a field,
So that always I can always I do mean to get about.

Presently the soldiers wives returned. I wish I were
May be I am one of them. They brought the stretchers.
Not any more begging. I fill a free uniform white instantly.
Those features are peculiar to a life. Please be sojourn.

Copyright © 09/29/2019 lance sheridan®

N20 Two hands, not a mile