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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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          What Men Predict




     These thinning woods invent this partnership,

where seven turkeys promenade,

examining leaf-fall, agreed to this method

by which their meals

and safe-keeping seem to issue, on a posted property,

where they, and some eight more,

endorse themselves in concert, so that

I make myself keep still,

unready to un-mind their snacking here by witness,

apt to scare them

from a yard like this for seasons, to casts

of mind

debating builds its points on, and to the laws

men scoff, pursuing

some sad no place governing

keeps out of, and

working as hard as that

on their affections




     By now, I’m sure, they’re exploring the neighbor’s

yard across the woods,

and unaware, I like to think, of noticing, gone

from that yard hidden for months

by low-limb leaves and undergrowth, less influenced

by that, by the racing nanoseconds,

scoring the debt schedules a season rearranges,

or the ticking time-share soils

undergirding the new Europe, less interested

still, in this neighbor now,

at home for an early go at leftovers

or lunch-meats

a turkey has its answers






     Is it important the rain’s stopped or just begun,

once you know what men predict,

and what it is to read or spend an hour on the music,

remembering what counts,

matters, among the forms of truth, and your ways

into it, a little out of fashion

now, like the hands you could not play

but learned to

with their coaching, sensing the mirrors, and spirits there,

the augmented chords,

set in imitation, once the rain’s gone through

and undergone recalculations,

while you watched the northwest corner darkening,

hardly the cause of this

or one to explain the post-brunch comedy, these

selves aligned

to the adventures they’ve agreed on, come to party

above bone-cups, but

not the hour you think for testing reflexes, on

that shelter bench,

in the last of weather, all your own, buttoned snug

against the cold

the boulevard’s been channeling, as long as

this wait

you cannot guess the limits of, until it all seems


and you give up on a river,  on this mood

about as reliable

as timing, this afternoon you think

you’ve lost

     the measure of.


                                       -Robert Lietz