Four Chairs

Out there the four chairs under a stand of oaken
walnut, the times hard like a tree but uncertain

on things like up and down. Holding patterns,
the lights from and to, skip like stones over

great blue film smooth and true north. If it moves
it proves time. Cold dew metal cold to touch

flakes thin beholden to wind, then to nothing
after it’s rained. Ghost wrought irons seated there,

they don’t believe anything they hear anymore.
Well maybe the quiet.


Turn away, turn away
from all you are,
all you were. No one
knows but you.

They think they know.
They say they know
but simple eyes have
simple minds behind.

The shoes, the shoes
they hide your feet
they hide your heart.
It beats in a quiet room

the bone-cage draped,
a standard mistaken
for someone else. There
cracks a pump

it breaks like
hedgerow-creased green,
flows with redding scabs,
hard before your creek
and alone.

Where the Five Counties Meet

this countryside catches
blurred veils
moving curtains of rain
almost silent across
tops of trees and clearings
and up to the house.

My god at the time, the clouds
my god at the lake, the face
I only know at a distance.
The west gives birth.
A breeze begins. My old gilded
book quivers on the front porch.

I know the way out-past the fences
but here is a place. Sounds
like showers fill the woods
long after they’ve passed over.
I ignore the rustling approach.
Then I count to one.



L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online, and is the author of nine chapbooks and one full volume of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008),  American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012),  Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017).

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