“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
If I could ask the writer one thing
it would be this: what bait did you use?
Was it a simple hook and worm
impaled with your usual deliberation?
Or was it a fly made from a feather
plucked with due reverence
from the wing of a dead neighbor?
Perhaps you preferred a bait more primitive,
crouching like a raccoon next to the stream,
attracting fish to your hand through sheer will.
For sure you would not have used
one of those shiny metal baubles
favored by today’s fishing dabblers.
No, yours was the direct approach.
I see you not waiting timidly as the stream
passes by, but diving deep beneath
its rippled surface, meeting the fish head on.
First published by Poetry Quarterly summer 2015 http://poetryquarterly.com/poetry-quarterly-issue-22/
Gazing down At Bright Angel Trail, I see no angels here—
only shades from the chasm: hikers dutifully descending
into hells of their own creation, then plodding upward again,
as in a Doré Purgatory; naked terraces laid down long ago
like the backbones of ancient sea creatures; swallows darting
across the layers like thoughts too fleet to recall; splashes
of red in the receding scarps of canyon walls
like wounds of a bleeding earth.
Originally published July 2015, at Wilderness House Literary Review http://www.whlreview.com/no-10.2/poetry/GeneTwaronite.pdf
The word burst upon our lexicon with
all the subtlety of a Playboy centerfold.
In a snap our clever devices provide
puerile portraits of our daily antics.
Yet only the technology has changed.
Ever since we first scrawled images
on the social walls of caves—
here I am stalking my prey—
have we thrust our portraits
into the popular ether.
Whether it be the self-mocking
image of a Van Gogh or Picasso
looking back at us from the canvas or a
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man,
it is all of the same mold.
We don’t need a new word.
It is the same game of fame.
But now all that will remain
of us as we pose triumphantly
in front of the Eiffel Tower
while cuddling our crotches are
shifting images lost in the cloud.
First published in BLACK HEART MAGAZINE, September 2014, Quarterly Issue #1.14 http://blackheartmagazine.com/2014/09/30/september-2014-digital-issue-1-14-now-available/