Oct/Nov 2012 Poetry Special Feature

Two Word Poems

by Ray Templeton


Reaching out to daylight, you understand
there's no escape from heaven.
The one bridge crosses to nowhere.

If you stamp your foot, it triggers
only mist and steam‐no earth,
no grass, no stone. But look far enough

and there's the sea, the oily, salty liquor‐
wreckage not refuge its element,
or loss and drift and maybe scraps of chance.

Learning in dreams, you talk of weapons,
swords and spears that flame
with jewel and platinum, slicing waves, to stir and lift

and scatter drops like beads of light, igniting
in descent, to plains and mountains:
land of sweet suffering, of ice and fire and storms.



This could be the way it ends:
a road that simply stops.
Tarmac turns to gravel,
dies away to scattering stones,
rough grass and weeds.

There's time to walk,
but I could stay here,
as snow banks against wheels,
survive, for a time, with the wind

and the slow descent
to rust, to perished rubber,
brittling glass: sustained
behind steamed windows

against a hard season,
with bedroll and blanket,
scraps of food, a bottle.
Reading by torchlight,

listening to the news might trigger
dreams of a golden whistle
on a platinum chain, a boat on the night sea.
Or a carpet to fly away on,
back to where we came from.


Previous Piece Next Piece