By: Fabrice B. Poussin
Helping the horses along with the plow, he walks,
boasting tan lines of one who never bathes in the sun,
the eyes in a fight to keep the salty tears at bay.
It will be another day before he can turn on the motor,
and watch from above, as the equine laborers rest,
escorted by the faithful flock of ravens, crows, and swallows.
But the week will fly too, as winter again strikes the soil
with its potent laudanum, and forces it to a coma,
he will sleep, solid by the hearth, rusted of rain, sleet and snow.
Upon the return of sunny climes for the last time perhaps,
a little trot to the river, to watch the carp, the pike,
dreaming of a spring come, gone, and barely lived.
Alone in fall, eyes set only to a future beyond the known
horizon of men, the stroll will be slow, heavy laden,
only his hand will thus lead him but to that kingdom.
The combine will fall quiet, asleep in a house of steel,
holding no memories of the wooden bones of old,
or the faithful driver of oxen, horses, and turbines.
He too will close those lids on a soft fragrant bed of hay,
fingers hesitant to reach upward in an ultimate motion
to greet his father, in the midst of his cherished multitude.
At peace, babe anew, a subtle smile on the chapped lips,
his heart beats only with the stars, comet in space,
at play once more, for his beloved he paves the way.
First grunt under stormy clouds,
rushing by instinct to the next shelter,
echoed by another beyond primitive giants
of a dark forest full of monsters and trolls.
Onomatopoeia on a sheet of stick figures,
Neanderthal grins a future smile;
in a higher pitch, he growls to a companion,
gifted with a primitive deficit in attention.
Many join in unison, seemingly single tones,
but the cold season returns, vengeful,
so the voices grow weary and grave,
sounds without words, explosions of emotions.
They survive through the generations,
with twenty-six letters and seven notes,
so the universe would work in their world,
minimal, at the size of the first humanoid.
The imagination wanders
to the most intimate point of her
it plunges into the brightness
of days that may soon be.
She shivers at the unexpected visit
holding on to the cloth of her shroud
icy beneath the heaving chest
terror settles near the edge of oblivion.
Touched by the gaze of destinies
she fears for the days yet written
turning to the bluish amber of statues
no longer daring not to be.
The forest is deep within her hidden palace
wherein a torrent flows furious
carving scars like wrinkles upon a breast
and she trembles under the frigid contact.
The visitor may dive into infinity
uncertain of the outcome of his adventure
seeking the treasure at the end of a long journey
where life begins and the fantasy is no more.
Finger prints on another light
What might remain in a distant future
of the delicate touch upon my door
volatile finger prints taken by a breeze at dusk.
Footsteps light as those of a gleeful doe
mindful of dangers in the uncertain forest
she glides to the outside on a pathway to safety.
Furtive the fragile apparition may vanish
when a call goes to catch a glimpse of a gaze
precious to capture the sole moment for tomorrow.
The flash in deep complicity an eternal treasure
is the conduit to her smiling soul, wink to the Universe
he cherishes the visitation and lives on.
It all leaves a trace don’t you know
no matter how you slice it, hit it
carve it, shoot it, pulverize it!
This universe of ours is pretty slick
don’t you know, with its milky ways
stars, and planets, and what have you!
Many thanks, and then some to you
all, for all you gave, stole
threw and burnt to the ground.
So it hurt a little, killed a lot more
in paint, in ink, in the cuts and
bruises, it did leave a deep mark.
Thanks again to you big and tall
wide and solemn, trapped between the walls
for you knew not what you did, not at all.
Now alone I see the lines on the wall
the strokes on the Earth and the comets
somewhere in the sky where you can’t reach!
I am left to mimic your memory
a promise that your story will be told
it will be known and it will be heard.
You are the authors of these tomes
though unaware when you spoke and yelled
and cried with one more little moan.
On the surface, all around you, words
songs, ballads and pamphlets you wrote
like tattoos on the parchment of this old skin.
I look around, I see a friend, an acquaintance
a cousin, an uncle and a wife, all say the same
like the quilt of our existence yet to be made.
Thanks for the blows, slaps and tears
you mix them well, you make paste for ink
paint and water so we may survive.
Yet another day, a year, a decade or even more
my gratitude to you and to you all after all
it is you who shaped my spine, my cover and
every chapter within those precious sheets.
I inherit your home, shack, hut, little burg, and
for you I build castles, fortresses and dynasties.
Thanks at last for every pebble, grain of sand
brick aimed at my heart and soul, it is to you
to them that I live today and forever more.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, Literary Yard and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.