My poem, Indian Staircase, will be included in this year’s Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology. That means I’m invited to the Barking Spider Tavern in Cleveland on May 7th at 3pm to read the thing and possibly–slim chance, I know–win some money.
The namesake of the poem comes from a hiking trail in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Thanks to John Burroughs of Crisis Chronicles Press for putting the event together and editing the anthology.
The hazy blue of distance and memory
stretches out, shifts then expands.
These mountains, leaves of trees,
browning away from newborn green,
just in their verdant infancy then,
now that the years have rolled on
like mildly obstructed water,
and time has molded, kneaded something else
entirely out of what remains of me.
Streaks through the palest, tepid blue sky
I have ever seen, jet streams and frenzied,
desperate fever dreams of an end.
A stillness. A pause without ceasing,
sustained suspension, a day off forever.
Dangling my feet over the edge,
shoelaces dancing with hopesick abandon,
I couldn’t sit still. Movement brought calm.
Or at least the appearance of such.
Everything (almost) jangled into place.
Walking along the ridgeline,
thinking of jumping into the upturned arms of
sycamores and elms, dogwoods waiting
and watching a little further down
like the little grubby fingers just barely placated,
tugging, wringing, wrenching
at her mother’s frail, frayed skirts.
The trust fall for the ages. Here’s to you, Gravity,
do what you can’t help but do.
I guess it spoke volumes that I never did jump,
though I’m still not sure just exactly what it said.