The Mixture As Before
Poems by Perry L. Powell




Yet metal
is best found by wood
glass by paper
after rain


sculpted in sand
and a search for clarity
in this, that, and the other


gray flesh
and black blood
gave light to nothing
and life to light


somewhere love pays
in silver for leaves
and you will know
and after again.



a black line




The back story for the best dreams
goes like this: when on the slowest
day of the year, clouds, thunder and
heavy winds start, with you alone
standing on the porch and tasting
that flat taste in your mouth, the one
with which you are most familiar…


Then - particle across the threshold -
that moment of superposition
where the woman in blue jeans leans
into the door jamb to smile and
to sigh with a sound that takes
forever to die while your heart
is forever knotted in her arms.



a black line


Children of the Island


No one left remembers when
the mothers left, and we are
killing the last sad fathers.


Children rule our island now;
tell me again, if you please,
how this liberates my soul.


Brotherhood and Sisterhood
of Man, yes, but oh! the rise
of that sibling rivalry.



a black line




Like a shawl
the lavender bloated
wisteria wraps round
the shoulders of the old


and he,
bent, doddering, professor,


at the sun splattered stark
dogwood blossoms
as if


from Plato's cave.



a black line


What It's Like


It's like the last gardenia in fall

withering under that last breath.


It's like that moment

you're watching a horror movie

and you fall asleep

and the dream that comes then.


It's like carrying your bucket of water

for that fire you can't find.


I tell you I am no Argus Panoptes;

and I cannot take infinite care.

But some of us, it seems, must see and must take and bear



Because in the end a life

is only one life;

a death

is only one death

and love is only one reason

to see it all through.


a black line

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