Restorator

After Jedediah Smith, 1827

Are you surprised to discover that mountain men
know what the various marks of punctuation mean
and can string a few words together, properly spelt?
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Waving Goodbye

For the sixth time you asked
if we knew how you fell in love
with your husband

but you had no problem,
oddly, recalling how to win
a game of Five Crowns.

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Hard Masters
1845, Alto California

after James Clyman

January 1
Cloudy and warm
in fact a coat
has been but little
needed this winter
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The Revenant

Hugh Glass lay in a shallow grave
as much to keep his body warm
as quicken interment of his corpse—
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“Prélude, Fugue et Variation, Op. 18″

after a performance by Awadagin Pratt

He is a left-handed player in a right-handed world
reading charts, away from left and toward the right,
underscored by right-brained, right-handed composers.
Even the baton which conducts is clutched in the right.

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Radical Leap of a Waking Mind

Curious is the fact
that a sleeping being
is altogether aware
yet elects to ignore
the waking world
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I Shall Also Remember

those who vow to never forget
The Trail of Tears
Antietam
Sharpsburg
Sand Creek
The Little Bighorn
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And Then I Had a Stranger Dream

(With No Apologies to Ed McCurdy,
nor to Pete Seeger, nor Simon and Garfunkle, &c.)

Last night I had the strangest dream
     I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
     to put an end to war

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Lines from a STUDENT

Say it, man. Spell it out. Admit
That your calculate words, woven
Under and about this captive
Doting audience have multiplied—
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Lines to a STUDENT

Study but solely me; play
The part that binds you
Until you must capitulate,
Dreams to be relinquished,
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