Two Poems by Larry D. Thacker

Journal, Winter    

Morning fog lingers cool, flat on the fjord water,

like a windless mountainside, hugged with cloud.               


I am so tired of this dream, and how I wake

with my fists gripping up in the dark, straining

for oars, pressing my back into the windless work.


I want to feel the whale road licking

through the hull of the ship again,

go home before the ice rattles from sleep.


If my dreams change with the weather, let me

keep the oldest fir trees to my back

and never fear the fjord’s steepest valley ways.


I want to be free of the sail in my sleep.


I do not want the glaciers of home to vanish,

or the shore, too soon.

                                                      We are bound by them.

Bound by those old words we carved once


in the rockish ice, then let float out alone

to become other words, other songs, 


far out where there is only water to be seen.





I’m up early for the two hour drive home.

It’s very dark at first. Two thirds of the way

there’s a gap pass overlook, which by the looks

of the blue and pink glow spreading behind me,

might be worth the stop for sunrise photos.


But I’m losing time. The sky is growing

from black to that lighter morning black-blue, 

the horizontal streaks of pink bolder with

every check in my rearview. I’m a creature 

racing the promise of sunrise, feeling chased by


something dangerous in those miles behind me.

It’s just me and some crows when I get there.

They bore of me quickly and hop away. I step

up on a retaining wall to get a higher view

the very instant that red that only a sunrise owns


slivers up over a shoulder of some unknown ridge

out east, the slightest edge of color, but brilliant,

sky changing, morphing pinks to a vibrated scarlet.

It’s colors I’ve tried hundreds of times to paint,

lovingly failing every time. It shivers another


quarter of its starry self up, and I watch, 

full-eyed still, nearly forgetting to take the shots.

Then a little more, the thing rolling up now

taking over the day, rounding itself brighter, 

too soon too much to stare at, this single moment


elongated just for me it seems. It waited. I can

see its brilliance now reflected in the unblinking

eyes of the crows gathered in the trees. We were

all chased through the night by this thing,

are caught by the new day. Re-born. Traveling.  

Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found or is forthcoming in over a hundred publications including The Still JournalAmerican Journal of PoetryPoetry South, Spillway, Tower Poetry Society, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Town Creek Poetry, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice HuntingMemory Train, and Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at:

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