Skip to main content

Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
Home
Contents
Biographies
Submissions
Archives
Editors
Contact Us
Publications
Policies

At the Edge of the Lake

 

 

 

the jaundiced path of the moon

rinses his feet and leans

his shadow back to the house

 

silk crepe towing him by the ankles

to where he belongs 

resorbed in kitchen fluorescence

 

the hardback chairs the table

draped with faded lemon oil cloth

the orange dog beneath it sleeping

 

content with a relic bone

while his woman’s dough

sweats beneath a cloth all night

 

He does not turn there now

stoned by the gibbous stone

its poxy reflection

 

as if it really were old Luna

conjuring and vagrant

no mere circle in ellipse

 

He stands there and ignores

his numb dabbling toes

soaking up the light

 

This is the pallid smile he waits for

every month like a woman who knows

the sun will surely bake itself blind again

 

who lives with him and expects

his shadow at the door

some fine evening thinking to come in

 

                                                -Paul Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half Asleep with a Full Cup

 

 

 

he scuffles out on the frost-heaved porch

to pour seed into the feeder

thinking to speak

because that is what he does

Purple finches and blue jays

boreal chickadees and yellow grosbeaks

pick through yesterday’s leavings

on decayed snow

 

The garish explosion of wings

makes him swallow language

all his fault the racket

fracturing the crust of sleep

startling the seeds from the china cup

that flail out on the spattered ground

because he had to wake up

 

He thinks, of course, to speak again

to spread some word

because there is no one else around

“What else” he says “No more…”

The birds perch and watch

 

Made a mess of things hasn’t he

startled the universe  

Crayola flashes clattering up

to dicey quiet for a while

 

                      -Paul Nelson