This growl the fatherland we first stalked,
this scowl the mother lode we first imagined
solid day duties hurried past gene-spotted nights.
We did not invent this theme.
Film on the fives. Ancient mutterings slow to neutralize.
Hearing the herd, my dear, splashing past muddled urges. But death
in sacred surges singing its skilled and perfect pitch
the cold seize of an extinct sturgeon's Adriatic strain
spoiling the forgotten flesh inked in drama,
this drama of Bolington's wet stream.
Spoiled ugly miner's eye growing green, slowly gone...
The poet choked. The painting dried.
Against the gray ash folded hills his Virginia sky grew black,
chasing spit, there was nothing that lived that night that caught
that's it, so much as a breath of slack.
We reconcile the concept of withering time
racing faster in toil than we ever swore it to be,
against the yellow years of a faster tomorrow
no relic found can improve lost liberty.
[2010, Lovettsville, VA ]