The River Witch

The weather here was slaughtered
by a spinster with a cane.
When she died the river dried
like the blood in her veins.

From her heartbeat birds were drawn
by the fallow harvest moon,
arthritic crickets chiming in.
For disappointment soon

would find a fetus in the meadow
like glue dried to a rock,
widows’ riddles walking circles
with the rolling eyes of clocks,

and a scampering of souls
tracking through the barren dust
snacking on each other.
A pickup truck’s rust,

with the uprooting oak,
out of tact made a pact
for us future folk.
We gave thanks for a puppy

flattened on the interstate
when scowls turned to howls
and love made love to hate.
When answers to questions

questioned questions in return,
the river roared and we were bored,
the brittle bridges burned.

Featured image: The Coven, by Iain Andrews
50x60cm, acrylic and oil on canvas

Image used with permission from the artist.

exorcism

             Blister grids braid imploring palms
             as alleged wickeds spit in their felonious skillet.
   Reptiles dance to cubicle monks, their square fugues, rejected demigods,
   grinding down harpsichord strings in cloister.
               Grandma’s here.
               You thought you saw drifting screens, silk veils,
black-licorice lace clouds perimeter-pacing. Mistaken, you watch amphibian flames
stick sugary paws up rusty iron walls with superstitious calm.

     Contemplative moments, salt and pepper debates,
     leave messes like romance’s merciless side effects.
      No matter which brand of battery you’re eating,
      all schools lacking thought taste similar:
          resistant curds purging upward,
          beasts hiding in a forest of thimbles.