Yet the fog shall rise, and many blackened wings shall wane

To light upon branch and twig yet not to rest,
but into silence-
feathers unfed from wind,
wings hemmed in the stillness of mist and water;
soft, rippling waves search
for the shore where languid pleasure fades.

In the midday, perhaps, one lust, one dream-
to fly,
for small voices to be heard stringing through
the fog,
bend ye wings on these, on hopes. …
or shall we sate obedient.

Yet (surely) the fog shall rise, and many blackened
wings shall wane. …
soon, crowned with grey feathers,
and cold wind with icy fingers-
thrusting a hand before the lifted flight
(if thus it be, in a drop of time).

Copyright © 04/08/2016 lance sheridan®


Fingers on a wire

Dawn comes, the land slowly awakes-
it thirsts for rain
it thirsts for dew
soon, cattle will come to graze. …
the barn door saunters.

Break from the wood, a coyote-
grayish brown,
muzzle and paw
silent, breathing past the
dog rose hedge.

Loitering wind, flickering dust ’round
the barbed wire fence-
sewn with the farmer’s hand,
pulsing, waiting
for the predator flesh.

Filled with temptation, filled with
cries- no longer a
cunning beast, the wire tears. …
downtrodden grass and fear.

Hounds and farmer leaping
bounds. …rifle shots
into the dog rose hedge;
then flickering light and circling
cloud- a deluge besieged.

Puffs of breath and wounded
skin- the canid tears
through the rifled hedge;
Farmer, why mute?
Ah, so the quiet hounds.

Copyright © 04/04/2016 lance sheridan®


The little black dress

Laid before the western sky-
the barren land
the slopes of hills
the empty nests, no flight of birds.

She, the saintly child, a pedestrian
far from a cottage
where wind and rain carved their
names on aging splintered sill;
on her way
the path- stony and rough
the air, motionless.

Left behind the whitewashed
the bible lying among the crumbs
upon a wobbling table.

Once upon, the house took root
azure fire burned
under cauldron stew,
chimney smoke touched blue sky
like promises.

Then, truths swept around like
dust with a broom,
she in her eyes saw a pilgrimage-
down the path she strode
tears trying to drown her progress.

Through the wood in her little black dress,
then a glimpse of emptiness
naked shadows
and tombstones where old believers
were laid to eternal rest.

Traveled for a long time, tired and hungry
nights without end,
the sky muddied black;
then, the opening of the sea-
she stood in, imagining purity
imagining silence.

Copyright © 04/02/2016 lance sheridan®


Children with water

Clayed skies, rain leaning hard
on a tenement window
where memories are held in
cracked glass trying to escape;
in a corner, a mother
sews, anxious about money
the needle is dull…

Her children stare, wondering where
puddles are lonely
to fill with naked feet and
mingling hands—
where do their wanderings go
where do their poor
and aging hands go…

In water, they stand with dullness
painted on tired faces—
the dim gray smog listless
full of fading light;
the city empties whispers into
their ears, a stained
cold numbness…

In bed, her children restless
and hungry, dream of
scurrying along floors like
mice looking for scraps of food;
puddles empty into earthen
graves, far from
the silence of youthful eyes.

Copyright © 03/15/2016 lance sheridan®