Two Poems by Larry D. Thacker
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 Journal, American Journal of Poetry, Poetry 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 Hunting, Memory Train, and Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at: www.larrydthacker.com
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