Jan/Feb 2018 Poetry

Two Poems

by Tom Laichas

Textile Photo Art by Jeffrey Trespel

Textile Photo Art by Jeffrey Trespel

Naming the Poisons

When the boy calls the beasts to his side, some proudly show him their venoms: toad's toxic skin, serpent's amber drop, spider's dull green spittle. The animals are innocent, but their venoms glisten with predatory greed.

Sensing the will at the heart of each poison, the boy treats each as a living creature, choosing names for all, ensouling all.

Dripping with name, animate with purpose, the venoms patiently wait. They know that gardens will burn. They know that one brother will turn on another. They know that murder is best done in secret.


When the Garden Burns

When the garden burns
The animals run to the Karun
They leap into the river's mud
Treading that corpulent fat to the sea

Without them near
The boy cannot recite
The mnemonic chant
Its ten million lines
Learned in a day

After the firestorm
He calls to them all

Only Dog answers

Cat hangs back
Licks a singed paw
And counts the stars


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