Jul/Aug 2014 Spotlight

Three Poems

by Don Thompson

Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI, Digital Media Database, www.genome.gov

Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI, Digital Media Database, www.genome.gov


Hunkered down in the loose dirt,
going nowhere, the rock waits.
How long would it take us
to master such patience?

We'd go mad in less than an eon,
longing to become windblown dust
or at least to move an inch.

So pick it up and hold it,
gently, as if it were a heart,
and then toss it as far as possible—
a stone's throw for you; for the stone,
an almost infinite distance.



Afternoon light late in November
only feigns indifference
as if finally worn out
by its old grudge against us—
the malice of July and August
that lasted into October.

Now it seems harmless, even comforting,
a lap blanket to keep the earth warm
long after dark.
But my guess is it conceals a knife.

What else would glint out there
among fallen leaves
when I go to the window
after the moon has gone down?
What else would reflect
light so metallic I can taste it?



How far do you think sheep see
when they look up
since everything they need
lies beneath their hooves?

Distances mean nothing to them,
ruminants chewing so thoughtlessly
that never have to hunt.

I suspect coyotes look up
at a world much like ours
where everything they hunger for
is far off and hard to come by.

No wonder they're always on edge,
worried about the next meal
before they swallow the last bite.


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