GRASS ATTENDS EACH CONGREGATE LEAF Grass attends each congregate leaf, sodden heap and hill, scratch-raking earth’s wet belly justifies belief each year cold dark rituals kill. Leaves drop sighing at trees farewell to hot season’s fun, échappé, tight pirouettes, pas de deux, all fell jubilant, fearfully as one. Earth’s press a million years forms coal, dust-crushed leaves and bones, bog-buried, mud-ice tombs, subterranean soul, grass reclaims cemetery stones.
the new green shoots were bolted The new green shoots were bolted to the floor, separate in their rows, sacralised with holy water, by the clothes they wore identical, all cross-hypnotized. Young flag leaves bore their raw novitiate collars, ripening cobs dressed up for winnowing, tossed in the air as chaff these wretched scholars, like well-ploughed soil, groomed for harrowing. The bruises spoke in Latin at the Mass, no rod was ever spared. It came to pass young bodies fell to grief where no one knew the site of Golgotha, except some few who staggered, bleeding, outcast, spirits flayed. What hath God wrought? Nothing. All men made.
mounted the lighthouse metal mounted the lighthouse metal spiral clanging up to sensual silence & a long sea view (dropped the teasing underthings) hanging flags of white surrender as we drew the heat bits nearer, rode a rising tide, splayed a risen leg, a grasping hand guided, guided, locked in sea slug slide (the light rotated once came back to stand) where open mouths breathed heat staccato sighs (two rush-thudding hearts & gasping wheeze) & all the ships that strayed too close to shore blasted horns in dinning feral roar at heads thrown back, a buckling of the knees, & giant Neptune rose, stared in our eyes.
Robert Graham is a retired professor of English Language Education at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. As well as publishing numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, his poetry has appeared in both print and online journals such as The Lyric, English Quarterly, Fireworks, Scottish Left Review, West Ward Quarterly, Island Writer. A former vocalist and rhythm guitarist in various rock groups, he lives with his wife Lori and their cat Lily in Victoria, British Columbia.