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Dave Shortt


The Guide

so evolving, if not here,
then where? under which
sky, which diet,
which gravitational imprint
left on your background?

& where are your children, the children,
or are they yet unborn?
'all the differences in age
subtract from a child's infinity'

(& what is it, creating a gloss
in the presence of an uncritical angel?)

capitals of the cosmos push into sight,
lighting up the maps,
pulsars debate with stargazers' specialized eyes
(that find rest in weeds)
taking over cropped fields in curiosity
clumped as 'where is anything anymore?'

home, remember? dear dandelion, dear thistle,
lupine: innocent brats,
didn't they grow up into functionaries
flying their banners in quotidian dignity? then what
flourishes next under sexuality's vision
& double vision?

the settled ones, trusting
(or in fear of)
time's chronic intellectuality:
gritting their energy
(dusty proviso to their state),
but what if it immeasurably falters?
in the next interval will momentum
from oscillating desires of 18-wheelers
transport them to a market checkout
where a massive distant cousin
still forages in uncertainty?

lost in the purifying meridian of a fern,
a pine, birch, poplar,
is an original 'why' droned
by a mosquito,
but where would the forest go
if it were stripped from its encounter
with an immobile fate?

a smooth & integrated body
like an adult dessert,
but when it turns swampy
will the moon shine down in sympathy
honoring in a quiet voice
all the tense animals?

those who discovered these miracle therapies,
are they at work somewhere new
up in that poverty-ridden constellation,
'the Great Curve of Learning'?

over years clouds morph
from randomly tested seed,
junk food, car culture's oceanic motion:
will rain commute the sentence
of a tame audience of corn
packed into the countryside
like a hungry population?

cricket-backed silence
& a view across the mountains
for miles: added layers
of distraction? or
features of homage, where
the body is hidden, always?

beyond the monuments, declaratives were set free,
finding a way back to thrill the suburbs
like the native wildlife

but evidently
interrogatives were forcing the next step & the next
in the migration of poetry





Dave Shortt's work has appeared over the years in several print and online literary venues including: Contra Equus Niveus, Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations, S/WORD, Ygdrasil, The Pedestal, Blackbox Manifold, Mesechabe.


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