As snow does to a fire gods who bit flowers of ink a nest of mad kisses down the long black river the milky way sky’s pale vertebrae archipelagos of stars
framed between small branches
blossoms of small arms , nails us naked to the color of pink hyacinth singing singing in deep red ripples your voice is a pale street lamp on calm black water
just (a word planted by the water
before I am a stone in a stone-swallowing river thrown
————————————————– your eyes
Donnie Hollingsworth has lived in many small Rocky Mountain towns and currently resides in Lamar, Colorado–where he teaches Art and English at the local community college–with his wife, cat, and dog. His art can be found here.
They gather in an alley, at midnight, under the full moon,
To read dirty haiku and make a ruckus in the streets.
But they are caring rebels.
Tonight, I found the alley poets
And took a dose of love.
How are you feeling? they ask.
Good, I say.
(Good is always the right answer, the work answer.)
No, tell us how you really feel.
That’s better, because it’s honest. Now come here:
“Every day, we’ll show you a moment so golden you must close your eyes to see it.”
I must stick around for that day.
Why is death such a theme in poetry?
Why does the depressed mind latch onto it,
Instead of the beauty in the words, the rhymes, the repetition?
Why is it so easy for pain to enter,
For negative feelings to take root like weeds,
For the analytical mind to try and rationalize the irrational?
The alley poets tell me a ghost story:
About the monster “that which follows”!
Stalking the cities, the towns, the towers
For those souls whose hearts have turned to stone.
It is insatiable, all-consuming, leaving destruction in its wake.
But they also tell me:
“That which follows” hates fire, warmth, light, love.
So, the alley poets light a campfire.
We sing and dance and read,
Keeping the darkness at bay.
Not to sound cliché
But the poems they recite,
Are the stars between the clouds at night.
They hug me tightly as I take my leave,
Encouraging: I must carry the ember until the next time
The community comes together.
The upbeat music starts to play,
Because…”that which follows” has no chance
Against the alley poets!
ChelseaCook grew up on the coast of Virginia, but now calls the mountains of Colorado home. She has been writing poetry since high school, and has been active in the Boulder open mic scene. She is currently finishing the draft of her first novel.
This poem is from our first print collection
of poetry, “Thought For Food”, an anthology
benefiting Denver Food Rescue. To support
our fundraiser, please visit this link.