Thursday, October 21, 2010


author's note:

I often find that the best way to start work on a rewrite is to cut out my favorite lines.  Here is some of what I cut from the first draft of the poem below:

"We’ve killed our children
 trying to keep them fed."

"If we’re afraid to die
 we’re done for."


Though we may seem to receive many reprieves
her fury builds--she lurks in the gasping night:
a panther of fire waiting to strike

her fangs in the swollen throat
that has gorged itself on her best work.

All our angels and devils have left us
to our own resources.
So our choices now are her
and our punishment
when we go against her.

We make jokes, act cool, sneer
yet built graveyards in her honor--

time and again, we've seen
the drumming of her feet
transform strong fortresses
into archaeological sites.
So, our casualness comes from fear.

But even if flippant carelessness
causes our edifices to crumble
the graveyards can then again grow wild grass
and the children stumbling shocked
in the aftermath will revive
in their reverential grazing.

If you ask me if we belong to her
the best answer I can give you is:
I think she belongs to us.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
I'm one of a 100

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