Just before the wind came up,
I stood atop the hill
Above my field, muttering
A curse that slurred into
An invocation. I know
Better than to pray, to
Mortgage the success of my
Crops to an idea in the
Clouds. Those clouds, at least
Were swollen with
The rain I’d gambled on weeks
Ago, riding my luck from
Seed blocks to greenhouse to planting.
The old-timers tell me they can
Feel it in the turning
Of the seasons, and act accordingly.
I still rely on the animals, the weather,
And the extension service, and act accordingly.
It’s never a…
It was April then, unseasonably warm,
Twenty-four years ago.
I met a boy at the Café Phares.
He was too unfinished to be called a man.
We sat on the terrace,
Sipping coffee and smoking American cigarettes.
He lolled in a chair,
Desperate to be mistaken
For Alain Delon in his heyday.
A question startled him, and it was only
After his companion translated that
He offered up his lighter.
She spoke beautifully, without a
Trace of an accent,
Raised by a daughter of the Ancien Regime.
Our bill for coffee and cakes
Was two hundred twenty-five francs. …
Turn left for bear baiting and cock fighting,
Turn right for auto da fe.
Confess your sins, no waiting,
Then fall to your knees and pray
To the god, orthodox, in the church, unreformed,
Built on the rock of our fear, shorn of all reason,
Hate exposed like the basest instincts of
Primitive man, who rose on two feet and now thinks
He possesses the world but mistakes his arrogance
For the easy fit of power held without consent,
Taken by chance in a moment of collective weakness,
When naivety opened the way for the demagogue
To harness common sense…
Poet. Gardener. Yogi. Enthusiastic eater.