At Roaring River

The pond lies still, yet there are
ripples beneath lily pads,
and all the better, if one views them
with the kind of eyes

that find the genuine in the mythic.
This park's a hatchery for trout,
the young ones jump high.
Broken concrete forms much of the path

that curves past the pond
near the cold cave where summer negates itself,
leaving tourists to gaze, shivering,
into a darkness no one can enter.

Blind fish hover,
as falls fall into emerald water,
blowing tiny bubbles in the summer rain
where it's always raining.

One fish, as old as death,
guards the low-hanging entrance, lurking
behind a rotten canoe.

(first published in Independence Boulevard)


Crop Watch, The Cycle

Distant stars now grace the darkness.
And six farmers under a quarter moon
kneel but do not speak.

By day, the sun burns through barren fields.
The old women shout,
"Dirt to mud, mud to dirt." The barefoot children
stomp a rain-dance.

Silence follows begging in this hell-dry penumbra,
which is not to say what the villagers now believe.

(first published in The Bohemian Rag)


The Danger of Pretense

The wind ruffles a blue windsock,
slowly it gathers the courage

to kill. I do not know
the nameless man, loved by God,
whose wife will die in the storm.

Where is the mercy? The stars
do not console the wounded,
nor the sandman the young.

The hills?
The rocks?

Why, even the storm invites our trust.

Are we a people
apart from the fury?

Today I walked around a patch of violets,
planted together in the yard,
tranquil, beside the rocky path
where their purple belongs. Perhaps
the flowers felt the peace.

I do not know.

Perhaps there was one, off to the side,
that I did not see.

(first published in Domicile)

© Helen Losse. Bio: Helen Losse is a poet and free lance writer with recent poetry publications or acceptances in Mastodon Dentist, Subtle Tea, Facets: A Literary Magazine, Tacenda, TimBookTu, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Blink, Domicile, Alba: A Journal of Short Poetry, The Verb, Cold Glass, Right Hand Pointing, The Pedestal Magazine, Spillway Review, Poets Against the War, Voices in Wartime, anthologies in the UK, and a micro-chapbook, Absolution, in the POEMS-FOR-ALL Series from 24th Street Irregular Press. Her chapbook, Gathering the Broken Pieces, is available through FootHills Publishing http://foothillspublishing.com/id43_gathering_the_broken_pieces.htm. She also writes book reviews for the Winston-Salem Journal.