Thursday, September 28, 2006

"The Shaman" by Keith Harvey

The Shaman

The center is in the clay and the clay is in the center.
So he sat in a clearing until the bees stopped and the wasps stopped.
So he sat until rain fell and aspen leaves spun gold.
So he listened until he was heard.

He looked into the lake where the loon lingers.
So he waited until the center opened and the tree’s root pierced his ear’s drum.
So he sat until the bears came and snow fell onto his shoulders.
So he watched until he was seen.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"The Hermit" by Keith Harvey

The Hermit

She found the hermit on the west beach looking for flotsam.
“Love me,” she said. He turned slowly, answering her call,
not because he wanted to love her, that was not in his mind.
He turned because he thought he heard a gull
or a sea lion; those were the things he turned to see.
When he recognized her, he turned away
because the sea frothed white in a strong wind
and the sky masked a somber gray.

Monday, September 11, 2006

'Drow Trees" by Keith Harvey

Drow Trees

On the back of a mule, with hounds at heel
-seven in all-he fled the farm and found a fort.

Hidden within its walls, he exchanged draped denim
for lamb’s wool robes and alchemical arts.

Once he scryed a drow pulling rotten teeth,
planting a pine cone with each tooth.

Beneath a larch he turned to stone.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"The Stranger" by Keith Harvey

The Stranger

They are listed, checked and assigned their place,
one after another through forty years of collecting.
Each one special but the same;
each one a murderer, an executioner, a sadist;
each one a surrogate mother,
who provided milk,
a diversion really from the real quest,
the search for the lost one, the stranger,
who like Talos is molded from red clay
and sandy loam of black woods,
a creature-half man and half bull-
cooked in a canvas tent in a weedy patch
where oil rigs run ragged through the night,
a creature birthed in sweat and blood,
blue bruises and broken noses,
cut from the womb with a broken beer bottle,
who, once found, sits on his Morgan horse
and smokes hand rolled cigarettes
and hums sour tunes about calves and steers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Lake Louise" by Keith Harvey

Lake Louise

The bruised clouds seep over the mountain
and frozen rain peppers the purple lake.
Japanese wearing yellow rain suits
flash photos of glacial residue.
A magpie hops on scree,
an aluminum tab in its beak.
A raven watches from a larch.
The tree's roots entrap Thor’s hammer
thrown by tourists
waiting for their bus.