W.D. Brown

3 Poems

Hay Barn

A call to mind of carefree youth.
When the green in the soul palpitated wild,
And Father Time often forgot about me.
The sheep wool white in the sun
Brought my countenance, lilting high
My gentle waif marrow.

Stood high an old barn
For which I deemed myself its—
Prince, hunter, herdsman and critic.
Noble the Sabbath bestowed my imagination
With its slow summer passing.
At mercy to my dreams, though not knowing.

As blocks of hay, they stood—
Death, dry, burnt, fired grass
Towers higher than child mind contemplation.
Where an upward gaze ended you flat on your back.
“Geez Pa! They must reach up there and split Heaven!”
“Maybe so.” His reply, with a raised nostalgic smirk.

The spooked swallows mock my naivete’
From their corner rafters.
Vagabond, freeloading tomcats licked their hum-drum noses,
Hiding in cracks along mice-collared, warped, ageless planks.
Opposite my jubilance, their afflictions spell endless,
Till comes the night.

This was real wood.
The last of the Great American Patina.
Rustic oak and chestnut, weather and sun-bleach,
With each creak you can hear the ghosts—
Father’s, Father’s, Father,
Belting spikes like vertical railroad men of the sky.
Cragged, brown, shirtless, hard-strewn—
Straw hats and soggy bandanas.
Their sweat still seeps in the walls.

A tempered rope swing hung from the middle.
I was Jack climbing the beanstalk—
Peter Pan gallivanting pirate ships—
Spider-Man, King-Kong, Tarzan too!
Heedless bounding between four walls.

My in-bloom, lawless, summer bethel.
Like fine wine basking in the charity of its own means,
I cared nothing for time,
And it took nothing from me.

Eclipse

The Earth or time? I don’t know which,
But one has stopped.
My silence stirs in echo.
Warm air mounds my skin with chill.
A participant in my semi-reverie
I am aware—however I remain aloof
To the fragment in detail that is missing.
A non-premeditated vine that coagulates
Around an undiscovered spatial membrane—
Freeform of design,
Adhering to only nature’s most rigid laws,
Detectable only in the senses of the wild,
Ambiance outside the boundary of nerve endings.
I am aware—however I remain aloof
To this momentary lapse drawing me away
To a new delicate spindle of reality,
With tension of an epileptic fit.
An accidental tug of the light switch.
Do you want this left on or off?
Where one more microscopic fleck of dust
Will shatter this light bulb to bits.
I am aware—however I remain aloof.
Freefall with an attached oddment of clarity—
The calm before the storm,
The eye flash before a bomb,
Consciousness in a last breath.
Hairpin triggers simultaneous to a new meridian
Fault the illusion of time’s essence.
Where the Sage of the Shakya
And Jesus Christ become bare-faced screamers
Of a divinity that is frozen—
Giving away only to motion and the flawless
Poetry and ebbs of unfurled truth
That fool the locust into song
In the middle of the afternoon
Thinking night was upon them.
Perfection in rotation—
The shaker of days—
The pusher of dawn—
Catechism of a sphere, axis, rock, and sun.
The clock still performed the reduction of a shadow.
Just a stain in space,
Little undone.

Bait

Farewell, goodbye—this final swift cast.
The tension unfurls—my slackline to death.
One sharp snag—oh miracle of fish.
Thorax pierced strong—clinging breast.

Savor this momentum—tease the wind.
My prodigal, fat flesh skims once again.
Virgin glides through moss and larvae foam
Announce my arrival—torn arrest.

Liquid orchestra, come hear the news!
Spool dance to nips and passing peeps,
Like a street busker singing blues,
Biding one’s time till final tip-out.

Tug and drift, shoot, dodge and whirl.
Dizzy the rubbernecks—birds and passing squirrels
Placing their bets with undisciplined, wet lips.
Lightning thumb fisherman’s patience preset.

Each empty toss—tousled, muck-clinged hair,
Snipped, picked, gouged and severed limb,
Bring no futility lesson. I’ve learned long ago,
They serve no trials for bait on a pole.

Their making plans under green cast veil
To tussle my loin in names of survival.
Dwindling my parts is not friendly fashion,
So I’ve convinced my inner turmoil.

W.D. Brown is a Dad, bluesman, published poet, substitute teacher from Kansas City. He performs as a singer-songwriter throughout the Midwest and released his debut album From A Child in 2018. You can find his work at www.wadedbrownmusic.com, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever else you stream music from.