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Photo by Erik Christensen on Unsplash

Let me tell you about it — it is as if we saw a goldfinch
in the grasp of dusk, revealing its golden-trimmed aria
swooping, sweeping, swooning in some willowing waltz
and the children stopped to watch it, it and all its flock
and for the first time in days they were silent
they were as if the sun was too close and too far all at once
they burned and they ached and they smiled, smiled, smiled

Let me tell you about it — it is as if we found a body the very next day: we saw it…


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Photo by Mishal Ibrahim on Unsplash

it is a lonely spirit, isn’t it?

moss-drunk
swamp-sunk
gathering

you were the heft of pool
beneath its gravity —
sucked into a stomach of
sky

I lost you there
in the undercurrents
but you had laid
yourself down like a
grave

you told me
melancholy paints
a violent
dawn

that the songthrush sings
until the bruises calm
and the breath purples
dark into
day

I often think of the way you
spoke then — as if the seasons would not
come again

as if they were not so exhausted do you remember his small hand? the way he skipped…


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“The Twa Corbies” Arthur Rackham — “Some British Ballads” (1919)

a bullet is the tongue of fear

and an unkindness of ravens
will be slaughtered, for didn’t

you know? they are bad luck:
singed with the slick

of evil. and you ask why I
do not believe in words. they are

gunpowder.

did you ever see a dying cat?
claws drawn as if death could

bleed; as if death would reason
with flesh. you smile, smile, but

the world is at war and you
would not leave your child

without weapons. last summer a body
of a boy washed ashore, drowned in

a cradle of warm water. his little hands…


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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

I write sense until it bends me backwards — only the
snap of sinews can break me out of my burial

but I am not sure I want to escape. There are sweet
slivers of syrup here; the thin edge of passion, the soft

slip to somewhere else. We can tread the line of
daybreak but it will not keep us full. There are things

we remember to forget — like the way you turned
your smile into an alligator, all sneaking pounce and

gnashes of desire. Like the way I blossomed gods from the wells I dug before I…


IN RESPONSE TO LI’S PROMPT-HIRAETH

Only the loneliest of lands leave you yearning

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Author’s photo ©RH

Do you ever lay your hand against the trunk of a tree and imagine it
waking? A benediction for solidity, a prayer for some wiser

kind of life. Perhaps that is only my holy, for I do not know what is good
anymore. Who is god anymore. I spent Sunday worshipping in a church I

used to know. There I found a thousand years of windburn and
gnarled flesh curled by the hand of desolation. I laid down inside the

moss, inside the damp palm of that consecrated ground and I was lost, lost
in a cradle of swamp. …


She is a question mark in June.

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Photo by Ramez E. Nassif on Unsplash

She is a question mark in June. She holds the days like they are newborn and she is not their mother. She is as strong as a full stop; as fragile as a rib-cage. If she is silent she is chasing birds beyond the sky again. She is September rain. She feels pain in the abstract. Everybody’s pain. She is church on New Year’s Eve and she is everyone’s resolution. She thinks (always) of revolution — within and without. She holds the moon on her tongue and says it tastes like sherbet. She could lead an army (I think only…

RH

nocturnal poet, daytime biologist

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