We let a moth man dream in Ohio
where some robins survived the sleet and barren hollies.
One bird sang beside a frozen pond. The moth man
hardly knew which world was alive in his mind.
And where he lived, he felt like a feeble warden
tied to a cell door, and wishing for a dark sky for his wings.
These were like elongated leaves fretting with his skin.
He remembered how the dream fell into a river somewhere,
or was he the thing that sloshed across a half frozen hill
to be born? The falling was like a tame field of light
spliced into his nerves, so that he walked as numb as stones
into an old woman’s house, and she thought he prophesied
a terrible earth’s fall, something people always believed in.
We could hear him sighing into a quilt. He had said
that his wings melted into coltsfoot flowers, and he missed
how they pulsed through fog. Mostly he sipped brandy,
and talked about the forests that no one would ever own.
His friends were far away watching us all disappear.
Watching a Thief
The first swans I ever saw were snow drifts
stealing a burnt hill.
They arched their wings over some oak stumps.
They flew away beyond my farm village.
Later the steep, wild vanishing of my own eyes
past where the snow careened godlike towards silence
was also swans.
Clyde Kessler has published poems in magazines such as Boxcar Poetry Review, Barnwood, Sugar Mule, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Wazee.
“I have many front porch memories, my favorites are ones where I am playing games with some cousins and my grandmothers–games such as ‘I Spy’ and ‘Simon Says.’ Simple and happy times.”