Here by the Burrow of the Well
Well! So he is done now.
Snick snarl knots. Break
Twigs. Clap hands. Draw
Rocks. Batter rough coves
And fire flint on incense doorwise.
Blue day and clouds at last.
I told you so. Loud mouths
Shut firm licking bone teeth
Fast. Smooth and heavy pull
Down on nails. I knew his
Craftsman father, boor fool,
Rat catcher, snap trapper,
Wife flapper, the Roman soldier
Did it, really. Pharansee that!
No blood midnight. Bed flight
Fight. Censor-no. Quick down
Mule back. Hard rock stubs.
Knock apples stick high. Eat.
Blaze trail. Tears at soft feet
Film robes caught in sand wind.
I could have cried, could have
Cast a stone pile, sticks, bones,
Crab-wise run. Ran and he
So strong she weak. So follows
Star path, star born. Straw staff
Crackle. New bands bond. Quiet
Ruct-rest. I declare, strong then
To receive slow quests! Xenia
Of birth-night stable free
Flock fest. Clank teeth. Woe.
Red year crop, vinegar grape
Stamped, slid under boot backs
Dashed. grounded, pierced
Halberd wise, slashed by scorpions.
In heart throb of beach run
Rising, going West by crystal streams.
Trees arch ways, shade and swag.
Shale cut feet, cool bathe.
Breathe fecund, fetid wind
God-stopped, see crumble statues.
I would like to travel from this well
Some day—to Alexandria beside
Cool rivers, damp airs. Crunch
Footfall call. Landscape orange,
Blue and gray. Here three trees
And a black well. Lookout
From cliff top. March and
Clash of splayed light on spears
Columns, roof as sky, battlement
Not meant. Quotidian crisses
And crosses. Trips on long
Garments garnished white robes
Stained by oils, sandal-souls.
When I look on the hills
In eve and morning, morning’s eve
Stretched and tenuous I do not feel
Need reminding unminding hands,
Cosseting sometime heartfelt
Hands. So he returned
And I believed him flash-eyed.
Boom voice, black short stare,
Grasping, prehensile, shockless,
Sucked in soft I drowned
Whirled not abject, arcane.
Fold-winged, raised brow
Dumb. Whole made hackneyed
Like bread, dust, the crowd,
Cold thaw from molten gaze.
I walked with him those days
Not numbered being wife
Unwed. Blistered, sea washed
Weltered, voice-less, I heard
Pounds on shores and terns
Caught thick frozen in warm winds.
Rabble writers, daws, were in train,
Training ears, not eyes,
Questions draw straight fine tangled lines
Swords cut twines, Chains clink
Clanking heavier drawn cold, hard,
Seething like ingots in wet troughs.
So departed all upon the Mount
Before the final message slashed
Mangled wire threads drawn
Parallel, sharp-ended like a fork,
Cold sword. I splashed in waters
Thick from running, scrambled
After, tugging gowns, mouthing
Clip-tongue words, continuous
Sound, weak blare not brash
Brass cacophony. Diapason humming,
I stumble, crick in weed cloth
Pulling, gasping, weeping through my veil
Shoved for better business
Twelve hard stares. Long decent descent.
This blessed withered hand, this sign,
And I here by the burrow of the well.
Wilson F. Engel, III, Ph.D., is a poet who lives and writes in Gilbert, Arizona, USA. With eight books of poetry and hundreds of poems published on line and in print, he is a Distinguished Poet in the United Kingdom and a Best Poet Writing in America 2015 and 2016.