Monday, March 21, 2016


J I M     H A R R I S O N

Reverse Prayer

I pray for Mandelstam hiding covered
with snow in a ditch. The Stalinists want to kill
him and finally succeed. I want him to escape
to Nebraska, please God. I pray for Lorca
that the assassin's guns won't work and he'll
escape like a heron flying west to the Mediterranean
then across the ocean to Michigan where he might
dislike the snow but at least he's alive.
He loved Cuba and Brazil for their music which
we don't have much of here. Please God, save him.
I even pray for Keats that he won't die
so young but get another thirty years or so
to write poems in Rome. He likes
sitting with my girlfriend on the Spanish
Steps. Can I trust him? Probably not
but I want more of his poems so I'll overlook
his behavior. And of course Caravaggio
the king of painters must live longer,
God. Why create a great painter
then let him die early?


Dead Man's Float
Copper Canyon Press





The river for weeks is low

Visitors arrive

Call it a creek

We know better

Say nothing

Next month in a downpour

Bridges wash out

Trees go down

Days of mud

No one visits

Walking From Town Between
Midnight and 4 A.M.

I must have carried out
Every peeper in this valley

Home with me, 13 miles
Trees shiver in light rain

The moon following the
Fences following­

A hillside of fog lies down
Generously in an apple orchard

Here is where a few sheep
Suddenly break into a run

A horse pounds the night
Meeting you at barbed wire

What is the sound between us
It is water that has brought me back


Just before supper
I watched a storm draw in
Taking light
The trees toss
No matter
I have finished carrying
Elm from the edge of the woods
Bucked, split then stacked
I am done
Well used
Come snow


Bob Arnold
Where Rivers Meet
Mad River Press