Literary Yard

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'Pioneer Cemetery' and other poems by Don Thompson

By: Don Thompson

Pioneer Cemetery

These tottering gravestones remain
unexpectedly white
after all sorts of weather—
unlike the bones buried here.
They’re gray going black by now,
blotched with off-green
like moss on the wooden markers
worn nameless years ago.



Spendthrift wind strips the trees,
scattering innumerable leaves—
worthless as Weimar paper money.
You can feel the effects on your nerves—
seething, maddened
by ordinary annoyances.
In this season, you have to search
deep in yourself to find
something that will keep its value
after the improvident year
has gone bankrupt.



Every dark morning, an owl calls—
not open diapason,
but the wheeze of someone worn out.
Another bad night.
This must be an old bird,
losing his edge, slower—
no longer beating the odds
against predators.


Almond Blossoms Again

Cold, but less cold, and for weeks now
the hives have been stacked, dormant
beneath bare trees.
But this morning—blossoms!
Someone should knock on the bee boxes
and tell them the good news.

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