No day to be named after a uvula
(with a nod to Alex Vouri)
I dream I am a famous tenor,
stripped of my tucked-in shirt.
I rehearse in the shower,
later bellow high notes
into an ice-cave, echoes there
adding strength to my refrain.
The opera fails in Australia.
My songs leak counter-clockwise
down a plastic drain, lose power
at the bend, leave me out of breath
before the aria ends. Nameless.
Another guilty white guy
who will only be remembered
if I put all my shit in a museum.
This being America, there were patriots present
(with apologies to Stephen Crane)
In the desert
I saw creatures,
running about with swords,
each cutting open another’s head.
“Won’t you miss
your brains?” I asked.
“What?” they replied,
and skipped off together,
(published by The Curious Record, 2010)
You can do it awhile. Air pockets remain,
locked around ice crystals. But not forever —
just long enough to replay the avalanche
rolling over life, sweeping love downhill,
leaving you flattened in white,
no way to reach for sky. If your ears still hear,
eyes are not frozen closed, hand trapped
near face can clear a bit of space,
you may have sufficient time
to listen for swish of metal probes
slicing nearby. promising beams of light.
If tempted to sleep, imagine
a new lover finds you, scoops a place
by your side, lies close. Together,
you breathe hope into deep snow.
(Sue Boynton poetry winner, Bellingham WA, 2013)
Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with several hundred published poems. Mapping Water (Flying Trout Press) in 2016 was his first book of poems.. His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.