Poetry Issue 10

   Issue # 10: July-December 2008

Thomas James


      This is the village of stormclouds.
      I have reached it by myself, tugging the bean leaves.
      I love these altitudes.

      The bean stems sprouted, groves
      Of them, a forest of pea-green sticks.
      The clouds were loose white scarves,

      A bevy of fleecy ducks
      Over my mother’s kitchenyard all fall.
      The villagers took pitchforks,

      Rakes and scythes to haul
      Them in. I climbed. My mother shrank into
      A calico-skirted beetle

      And disappeared. Washed blue,
      Now the sky bellies like a circus tent.
      How small things grow,

      How weighed-down. The firmament
      Is a blank blue pond of forgetfulness.
      This sun has grown blunt

      In its caved-in pumpkin face,
      Yolk gold once. All the yellow bean leaves touch,
      And clouds are froth, too close

      For comfort. My knife sticks
      In the green bean crotch. I wait up here to catch
      The first kiss of the axe.