Sunday 5 November 2017

3 Poems by Brian J. Koester

Dead Moth

cicadas' calls glitter
more silver than the moon

when you go
part of me tears away

when you come back
the rejoining graft
will it take?

a dead moth
with only its wings left
the eyes on them
could not close

MH 17[*]

a canal green
in the last shred

of summer under
arches of trees

where the bells
still toll the names

everyone here
was joined with them

now drifts with them
on the breeze

[*] MH17 was the Malaysia Airlines flight out of Amsterdam bound for Kuala Lumpur, that was shot down over Ukraine 17 July 2014.  The Dutch say MH17 the way Americans say 9/11.


If music is a language,
and a rattle makes music,
then a rattlesnake is a musician
and can talk, and that's what this one did
when my friends refused to follow, off road,
somewhere on a grand desolation
of rock and brush on Navajo land,
through a kind of tune so visceral, so primal
we both, as a warning, a threat from a hundred
feet away, sudden like thunder, loud like water,
knew an enemy like the sun knows the horizon,
without divine edict in this forsaken garden,
knew what it was saying as it flowed away
with a grace already ancient
before we came down from the trees,
with a soft roll like a snare drum and slipped
out of sight and its final word stopped me
as if by remote control, a burst that left me frozen
as if a flourish of iced lightning were striking home.


Brian J Koester has recently earned his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in "Louisiana Literature Journal", "The Ghazal Page", "HeartWood", and "Peacock Journal". He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

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