Thursday 5 February 2015

2 Poems by Don Thompson


Dead grass makes good camouflage
for coyotes.  They disappear in it
like partisans still wearing
their coffee-stained khaki jackets
long after the uprising has failed.            

Humankind won.

But coyotes survive out there
and let us see them sometimes
just so we know.

At night, they taunt us,
singing the ballads of their lost cause.


I used to keep my grip on life
easily, without a thought—
like a lizard on a wall.

Now I have to concentrate.
I cling.  Otherwise, the warm sun
might lull me into letting go
to fall…  But if not,

to float here miraculously
with something to think about
and no need after all, no need
to hold on tight.


Don Thompson has been publishing poetry since the early sixties with several books and chapbooks in this century. Back Roads  won the 2008 Sunken Garden Prize.  Recent releases: Keeping an Eye on the Stones, prose poems from Kattywompus Press; Local Color, a book-length narrative poem from Aldrich Books.  Others forthcoming later this year.  An LA Times profile, "Planted in the San Joaquin," remains available online.  Much more at his website: San Joaquin Ink (www.don-e-thompson[dot]com).

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