Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Besmilr Brigham—Issue 49, January 2015)

Country People: House of the Earth


what moved upon a child. this ground

and my ground . . that we did not know;

that was near to all and one could

not approach

 relationship to elders, the young

selfish as cats, animal self-centered. the old

who loved us that we did not love—

from expectations, insufficient . . to feel

our existence held their need;

 we did not!

one could not settle for—what was (to us)

their wholeness, the spreading outward

desperate suffering

or joy . . . an animal need filled. each

went like empty vessels, before us

digging a grave with shovels

men came

(seven feet in) to the figure of a man;

white sediment lay

soft as bone-chalk

a calcium deposit—

not disturbing his shape, dust

of the body kept whole

they lifted their tools. the box

went down smoothly upon the surface


‘old man with four gardens’

my cousin

pushes a tiller with rotating cutters

through the soft pliant earth; he sits

with young pea sprouts, throwing

fire crackers at birds

where once the mammoth fields lay

encroaching upon us as woods;

his eyes

are slits of light—his hair

white as

long rows once broken with mules were,

a September spread of bursting

stalk and bowl, cotton. from his narrowed

eyes, he looks at the sun

‘i remember’ his soft face says;

the generations

move with his hands as he touches

the hard worn handles

landside of an ancient plow