Two Poems About Earth

by John Riley

I. Boyhood

What’s fucked up in this poem
stays fucked up.
The image is the hardest
to make come.
Plow slicing a furrow in a shadow
that becomes
the dream inside a garden.

It’s now the worms
turn over
in a final earthworm

II. Middle Age

I once held a river crooked
in my hands.
Took two turns at the canyon
gaped beyond.
Felt every dance of the gelding
I found dead.

Where are you, my
cold-toed girl?
Tonight my crowd stands
in the rain
to enter and reenter
a sequence
of lessons learned and asking
this journey
about the next.

John Riley is the founder and publisher of Morgan Reynolds Publishing, an independent publisher in Greensboro, North Carolina. Before founding Morgan Reynolds, he worked as a freelance writer and teacher. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Corradi, Aberrations, Hardboiled, The Houston Literary Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Hobble Creek Review.

Back to Issue Four: Summer 2009