Wednesday, November 26, 2014

James H. Duncan - One Poem

Men of Karma
Iowa, that endless road and fading into
the mile-wide stormfront of pitch black western
rain, solid sheets, calling after us, roiling, lashing
across the Great Plains
the dirt in the air, cruel and hungry

boots worn from the eastern highways, rotting
pants stained by another farmer’s field,
no money, no going home,
men of karma crawling
into another starless night
speaking words from leather books
reading poetry aloud from skulls
explaining lives in order to lose them
a campfire nobody can see but us

we count water and days
we count miles and stones
we count laughter and bread
we count lovers and the warnings
that death leaves for us
in the middle of the striped highway

the trick to evading fate another day
is to taste the dirt in the air
and feel the earth move within your lungs
hear the nettles by the roadside speak of
every blood moon night you’ll share
between here and the sea
nothing else matters
nothing else matters
until it all adds up and away you go again
James H Duncan is the founding editor of Hobo Camp Review and is the author of eight collections of poetry, including Lantern Lit, Vol. 1 (Dog On A Chain Press) and Berlin (Maverick Duck Press). His second collection of short fiction, What Lies In Wait, is due in 2015. For more, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment