Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Harley Elliott’

Wake Up Call by Harley Elliott

A butterfly walksElliott

up your cheek

and looks you

in the eye.

1

A stone between

your feet grows

a warm spot

in your hand.

1

Cloud shadows

race over you

peel identity and

drift it away.

1

Birds swarm and

turn in unison

becoming sky

and flashing

back as birds.

1

And yes thunder

is growling

your secret name.

1

In a moment

all the cells of

creation are

bending your way.

~ Harley Elliott

Harley Elliott lives in Salina Kansas. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Darkness at Each Elbow and Animals That Stand in Dreams (Hanging Loose), and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Fugitive Histories (Woodley), as well as a memoir, Loading the Stone (Woodley).

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

142. Getting There

Maybe you had to be there

or more likely wanted to.

It was possibly vital

a goal or destination

that might have had

unerring potential.

Maybe you made elaborate plans

what to take and how much.

You could have justifyinggone as you were.

You are pretty sure your

arrival would have been

important to somebody.

Maybe trust could have been saved

a fence cmade true

or a contract signed because

you got there whether

puffing and blowing desperation

or gracefully early.

Maybe you were chosen

an omen set your path.

Maybe you took a desire

seriously getting there

far ahead of yourself.

Maybe there won’t turn

out to be like you

think it is. Maybe it

ought to shift for itself

with you right here

breathing down to the

hairs of your body.

— Harley Elliott

Harley Elliott’s books of poetry include Animals That Stand In Dreams and Darkness at Each Elbow, both available from Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, New York’ and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Loading the Stone, both from Woodley Press, Topeka, Kansas.

138. Little Hawk

Little Hawk

There was a man once

called Swoop of a Bird.

I am not the only one

who has flown to your

dance with air

urgent song lifting those

lowdown roadside clouds.

The eye that sees

weeps a dark comma

and swiftly goes.

You have been sweeter

than I deserved.

— Harley Elliott

Harley Elliott’s books of poetry include Animals That Stand In Dreams and Darkness at Each Elbow, both available from Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, New York’ and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Loading the Stone, both from Woodley Press, Topeka, Kansas.

74. Walking in Tall Grass

You part the weeds

these thick plants swept

into one rank category

useless or contrary to

the agricultural plan.

Ticks disengage at your

passing warmth and drop on

to a long crawl for blood.

Mosquitos tune you in.

Still you part the weeds.

Chiggers make you

wish you crotch belonged

to someone else.

You must be crazy

but you part the weeds

brushed aside

and closing behind.

Some twich your cuffs

and sign your arms with

tiny marks as swimming

on your feet through

heavy green breath

you part the weeds.

Destination is memory

and time only footsteps

walking in tall weeds.

You reach you.

— Harley Elliott

Harley Elliott’s books of poetry include Animals That Stand In Dreams and Darkness at Each Elbow, both available from Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, New York’ and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Loading the Stone, both from Woodley Press, Topeka, Kansas.

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