Wayne S. Williams
. . .
His eyes open again,
as they have with every imperfection of the road,
over and over,
while the bus engine drones in falling piano chords.
Across the aisle, somnolent faces
wear the slow crawl of the evening sun, of mauve shadows.
In the air, like a dusty path
hangs a sweat-bouquet of the humble.
And behind him is the murmur of dull conversation,
where some speak of outbound journeys,
toward the eager embrace
of their legacy.
While others, fulfilled, bemoan the daily order,
an early alarm,
a dry philodendron.
He turns in the confines of his blue sleep-tilted seat
and peers at the window beside him.
It’s awash in gold, filled with reflection.
And through its glare,
birds perched in a sonata score,
soar away like an opening zipper.
Life passes in a rhythmic tick,
a streaking incidental counter
of poles and wires,
in seconds, minutes,
years, as he heads back,
to find himself,
to begin again,
in his scenic time-machine.
– – –
Ibex Amid the Jackals
Jungle eyes glow, beneath halogen moons
where he walks, head down.
An anonymous witness,
into his tired milieu, a tribe of tainted muses.
It’s dark between these brick wall chasms,
savage with the sound, of graffiti drums.
Here, rats dine on kittens.
and the nearest thing to tactile content
is a rag which reads “Texas girl has Martian baby,”
words clutched like sheets by cold cardboard bones.
Just once, he wishes, the headline would say,
“Martian girl has Texas baby, photographs, page three.”
Soon, he pushes through an alley door,
where those inside float against the pain,
a sea of lethal bubbles.
And he walks amongst them carefully, willfully,
stares through their filmy raven sheen.
Sees the predator inside,
the human poison variance,
socio – religio – politico – ego – infinito.
They are caught by fortune’s breath,
beasts. who wait to scar the careless.
– POP –
And he watches those,
who wander beneath that ruptured mist
the eager and the innocent,
as they grow dim, don the guise of prey,
as they spin to face the closing steps,
spin before the snarl of incisors,
spin like an ibex amid the jackals.
– – –
From the Front
Today, I am less,
changed, like a letter
left in the torrents of April,
part of a new brotherhood,
of circled eyes
and terse lips.
The good in me shivers in the heat,
curls like trauma in the maw
of a midnight cave.
This cloudless day began as one of horror
filled with shrieks and thunder,
brought visions I had never known.
And now, as the hours are done,
the sounds have become moans and pleas
the scent of fury is the smell of decay.
Yes, evolution itself has fallen,
like pressed cotton into muddy rags,
like courage into stillness.
For today is the first time,
dear Claire, my swan,
I have killed.
And as the crows return, circle overhead,
I am compelled to crawl to the river
on my hands and knees
and drink from its tainted flow, like a dog.
I love you.
– – –
In 2006 Wayne S. Williams founded the Poets Live! program at the Largo Public Library, which continues to meet on the second Monday of each month. In 2017, he was honored to be named as the first Poet Laureate of Largo. Sign up for the monthly Poets Live! bulletin at firstname.lastname@example.org.