A Welter of Cormorants
If you’re not too busy, my
house is on fire. No close-ups
please, I’m too old. Everything
can be mitigated with the proper
use of scented candles. The
Supreme Court turned the tomato
into a vegetable. Let’s not tussle
on this sandy shore; share the shell.
Around here we say carapace.
You’ve a penchant for the superfluous.
Outfitting a bass boat with an
astrolabe. A moped with no petrol
is just a bike. Help yourself to as
many samosas as you think you
deserve, then go back for seconds.
If animals could talk there’d be
more vegetarians. The moon
shines enough light for the muskrats
to find their ramble. We found
a didgeridoo in Saskatchewan.
The most heavily-scored eleven
minutes of my life.
Ever Fugitive (Another Alchemical Poem)
If we were to look at reality
unaided by the filter of perception
we would be blinded. To see
the fire inside green wood. To
catch dragonflies, appeal to their
desire to rise above their peers.
The sound of song birds, attractively
measurable. No wind to shiver in.
A warmth somewhere between the
human body and June sunshine.
No one knows when the last weariness
will come. Hannibal marched his elephants
past innumerable Burma Shave signs. A poor
finish for a man of his standing. Poison
in the ring. We have the measurement but
not the time. Five is a fortuitous number.
Five stones from which man first extracted
copper. Melanosis is the first stage
towards transmutation. Teach your
acolyte a few illusions and let him loose
upon the world.
A slight indiscretion a long
time ago has caused us to grow
old. China’s done away with shame
parades. Nothing you can do
in the house I can’t do in the yard.
Domineering and overdressed, even
the Brahmin’s dentist suffers
occasionally from bettor’s elbow.
Colonel Corn will only communicate
in couplets starting tomorrow. Useless
as flashing a freight train. Everything
is already in the hands of the enemy.
Jimmy stole a motorcycle in Morocco,
and rode into Kew Gardens on the back
of a camel. We foraged for
raspberries and mixed them with
our ployes. Now we’re drinking Moxie,
listening to Bach. This rural
hideaway is an acoustic powerhouse.
Will you be my hen of the woods?
Conceal Your Intent No Longer
It’s all true and it’s all false equally.
Perhaps it’s the alignment of the stars
or that my food is slow. Nourishment
for the reflective mind, like fire conglobed
in highest cloud. Whet your appetite away,
but come home to eat. Commander Lee
is in the river with Mildred, washing their sins
away. Kicking Buddha’s gong. I can’t stand Scotch,
but love the sound it makes coming out
of the bottle. They’re cloning Neanderthals
in northern Spain. This can only end in tears.
That’s the second time tonight they’ve ended
with a seventh. A fidgety pick. Whatever
happened to the great empty spaces? Used
to be a man needed a gun to steal money.
My uncle calls the garbage dump our local
bird sanctuary. If you were a seagull I’d
call you King Oscar.
Whit Griffin is the author of Pentateuch: The First Five Books (Skysill Press, 2010). Chaplets include Wanhope (Longhouse) and Fugitive Cant (Country Valley). Recent poems have appeared in Sixth Finch, Cannibal, The Equalizer, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Forklift, Ohio. He currently resides in western Tennessee.