THE BOY ON THE HILL
by Scott Thomas
While his mother washed dishes
And his father fixed the light,
The boy on the hill looked up.
A sled trail, weeks old,
Crumbled beneath his boots.
Starlight . . .
First star was a porch light,
Higher though, slung in a neighbor's tree.
Venus, maybe, with its sulphur falls
And billowed sky.
Pluto, his favorite, was too dim.
In Hammond's Map of the Solar System,
It appeared dull and dusky like a puffball
The sun never greater
Than a comma of light,
The windows always webbed with frost,
And, beyond, just margin.
The sky arched so high above the boy then,
Its pink aperture gaping,
The distance so very vast
Between the cold hillsides . . .
Now the winter sky still waves its palm
Tattooed with marble planets and cycling stars,
But the door to the shed is frozen shut
With his toolbox inside.
"Time to start again," he thinks,
Crackling through the yard
With steaming kettle,
"To add another watcher
To the world,"
As if the snow-covered hill,
Shale-pink sunset, diamond star
Would ever line up again,
As if his son will ever think to watch
(Of course, he will now be expected to watch)
And, having looked,
Would not turn to the stoop
Where the cold collie barks.
DARK ROAD by Ruben Briseno Reveles
by John Grey
The moon seems frozen in the winter sky.
Starlight skates across its sheen.
And brittle too. As if a break here on earth
would crack its rock as well.
An owl perched on a high oak branch
is on the lookout for a tremble in the shadows,
while its ears prod and poke in the grasses,
the cavities, like an old man with a stick.
A field mouse runs a gauntlet the only
path it knows. The raptor pounces.
A squeal's back is broken before it has
a chance to be a scream.
Life is as good as it is pessimistic.
It's as stiff as ice and yet bends to a hungry will.
The hoots of the night are the chill's enticement.
The hoots of the night are gratefully cruel.
MOON THROUGH TREE by Ruben Briseno Reveles
by Karly Lake McCullough
There is a secret place
On the east face
Touched by the dawn
Looking out across the air
But one thousand feet down
Shallow graves of fallen stones
And the wind moans
Follow me along
Breath of clouds
To call aloud
Answering the owl's song
Just feet to cross the distance
Forget that insistence
That you stay still
Frost and sun kiss the stone
One thousand feet from home
The cliff edge is shaking
It's a long fall
And then that's all
You never feel the breaking
ANGEL NIGHT by Ruben Briseno Reveles
by Fabrice B. Poussin
Midas, long before him, touched
under his hand all changed to gold;
all was transformed to the highest,
perhaps to satisfy and show what was sublime.
The knife, every day, used for lunch and work,
a glass and a cup, for the much enjoyed drinks;
the spoon, and the fork that knew him so well,
felt a heart and soul that made them precious gems.
By the shed, the axe's handle still warm,
all of his garden tools, many forever resting,
to him a room, his sunroom, his museum,
where so often he shelled the nuts harvested.
His favorite chair now retired to the attic,
silence prevails where the four wheels used to hum,
prints in the muddy soil like a dinosaur's foot,
still resounding with the care he took.
Resting for just an instant, on the pillar of the barn he built,
ready to exert his strength again on a world awaiting him,
the atmosphere even retains the glorious shape of his life,
with hand and foot, all of his humanly being.
Wrinkle or sweet caress on the smooth surface of time,
recalling his passage, it has changed to never return,
to the form which it showed before, like Midas
he came and left his mark, indeed he did.