Airport Protest (January 29, 2017)

Planes have stopped searching the sky for answers
as the crowd gathers into the terminal, fists up.

For once, we are made of metal– wings to give
the silenced flight. We mobilize on the ground

with footsteps of thunder, voices of titanium.
In rising, we promise to fly, scan the landscape

for green landings. Drop the ladders down,
worry about the pressure– not the altitude.

 

(originally published in Urtica Lit Blog, Summer 2019)

January 20, 2018

a fog this white mess of morning driving out of Ohio
trees dressed for a funeral     per the new norm
dilapidated barns redbrown in the green

grass corpsebrown       snow an oil stain birds
couldn’t afford flights home   this time   their muddywater
wings a gunk on the canvas         of sky

the countryside is tainted

Abbey Road         scores this thread of potholes
we pass a sign      Muskingum County    initially read as
       musking gun

                                                         how bulletsmoke
rises from pores of the greendead ground
  until all we know is the death encompassing

                                 fog clears at noon
                                 birds ravage a halfdeer
                                 carcass

(originally published in South Florida Poetry Journal, Summer 2019)

Airport Protest in a Crumbling America

We march through the airport in cold winds chanting
aluminum fists in the air and when we come home

the Fireball bottle is empty. The chimney is covered
in dust and Johnny has pneumonia for the second time

this year, lungs filled with water but no one else
breathes easily, just tuning into television fills a room

with coughs and silence. We had wings for a minute
but the planes have resumed their spots in the air far

away from the things that hurt. Just gazing down on
wide landscapes of gray plains and small churches

crumbling from the steeples.

 

(originally published in The Courtship of Winds, Summer 2019)

Humanity Is a Pre-Existing Condition

tell your father to pull out, tell your mother
to hide. there are children of your children

who exist in an illness of blood,
bone, skin, hair, and lung.

there is a barren landscape–
stone predated ocean,

before the earth was
sick with smoke, plastic.

bacteria teemed on this rock
like an unstoppable infection

that infected power
to make powerless those infected.

 

(originally published in 45 Poems: for the Revolution, 2019)

2017 Mantra

Build bridges, not walls,
though bridges ice faster
than roads we traveled–
hundreds of miles,
only to boomerang back
to before, while thousands of
armed windmills gasp for air–

the sunset through the bug-
stained window moves faster
than us toward a semblance of home–
swirls of clouds quivering
into the arms of weeping
willows simply
weeping–

 

(originally published in The Wayward Sword, Summer 2018)

The Appointment of the Special Counsel

out of nowhere there’s a razor-thin wire hope
smoke from the top of the mountain and
we small spectators watching those distant trees
burn chatter among ourselves that finally there’s
a chance to reveal the truth about the source of smoke
and to be honest we’re terrified if there isn’t
a fire because we see it and wonder what else
is covered up because it’s there all around us in the air

 

(originally published in Rabid Oak, Spring 2018)