Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

A Peaceful Country; Social Media; Mosquitoes Will Inherit The World
A Peaceful Country

 

Now that the report is in 

the nation in all its nakedness 

mouths the platitudes.

Is this the time 

to speak of what

must be done

when butterflies are flying 

like orange comets in the day?

A bird in the hand, well,

the birds are chirping, too. 

From the trees, so much noise 

it's impossible to sleep. 

I had hoped to settle 

into this piece of time, 

to assemble all the puzzle parts 

and know what was what. 

It seems the fox 

will kill the hens this year 

and escape once more, 

the coop a mess 

of feathers and blood. 

You may ask why no one

stops it.  You may ask how

the earth turns on its bright axis 

while those concerned toss salt 

over the left shoulder 

for luck, and the rest 

in hopes the demons 

will not pursue them. 

The time has come 

to change your life--

Have you heard that whopper? 

Old beliefs, like justice 

for all, like a hand 

reaching from the crowd 

grasps for help

and not to steal

your purse.

 

Social Media

 

Oh Twitter jeremiad,

you have not yet achieved

the compulsory competency

of the madman on the rock.

Your words are misaligned

and the nuns who taught you spelling

hide their heads in shame.

If they could but discipline you 

with their stiff rulers, 

beating your knuckles 

until your hands

stop typing 

and you put 

away your devices

to look up 

from the screen.

How bright the world might be.

The sunrise is singing,

birds, a chorus of hope.

The branches of the old oak

wave like store greeters 

welcoming you home.

Peace is there in aisle 9

and harmony in the back row

next to faith, on the bottom shelf,

which I'm sorry to report

is being discontinued next month.

Yet the soft green meadow grass

calls out for you to lie on it.

Be reborn in a puff of cloud.

If you'll only rest in the forest cradle

beneath the spangled light of the world.

The doe in the woods

is staring,

no one move.

 

Mosquitoes Will Inherit The World

 

On the last walk around the last garden, 

the sun blisters, turning 

all the formerly temperate 

into sand. That's a little taste 

of the times ahead, sweet boy, 

the future that's more expensive

than the weight of earth in gold.

Those two degrees of warming

was wishful thinking

by the counsel of platypodes.

We're headed toward five

but by that time,

they'll be gone,

so why bother change--

I mean, won't the superheroes save us

like they always do?

Meanwhile, I carry my reclaimed recycled 

repurposed reprocessed shocking 

pink nylon sack 

like a circus strongman.

I stack my empties 

in the big blue bin out back

for the homeless pick through

and carry off what they can sell.

To those who will listen, 

I preach the empty language

of word balloons.

I tell myself, I am doing something, 

dumping the used coffee grounds 

on the mulching bed as an offering 

to the environmental gods. 

I tell myself, I am doing 

something, culling food

scraps for the compost heap

so the microbes can feast.

I cut down on meat 

and don't run the air-conditioner 

in the heat.  All glory 

to the penitent of sweat! 

Mine is but the cheapest sacrifice, 

no better than paste jewelry.

The way people say, "Sorry for your loss"

or "he's gone to a better place" 

or best of all: "Everything

happens for a reason."

Tell that to the Cryptic Treehunter

who will hunt no more

in the forests of Brazil.

Tell that to Miami,

when it drowns.

All our gems are forsaken.

The obituary for the topsoil 

has been written. 

When there are no dogs left, 

who will listen 

to the earthworms sing?

Ian Randall Wilson's fiction and and poetry have appeared in a number of literary journals including the North American Review, The Gettysburg Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. A short story collection, Hunger and Other Stories, was published by Hollyridge Press. His first poetry collection, Ruthless Heaven, was published by Finishing Line Press. He has an MFA in Poetry and in Fiction from Warren Wilson College, and is on the fiction faculty at the UCLA Extension. By day he works at Sony Pictures in Los Angeles.