from This Kettle Is Good For One More Cup Of Light


a cricket chirps from the wood
piled in the basement

work on stone     wait
in shadow     need bread

try and change
this box of old bones

where the hawk zeros in on
small fish along the shore

and the heat from cattle wells up
through the hay where I sleep




anger will rise
and fall

each time a glass breaks
or a back door slams

walk slowly to
protect the soft line

laugh and move
the dead branches aside

create with the
mud of routine

thin scrapped story     frost
will close the wounds

dreams      forgetfulness


with the brood
of years



it's tough counting the corners
on a grain of sand

to stay ahead of hard times
on this planet of light

back bent


spaces between years small
the distance great

on the other side of the fence
where I shadow box and play games

friends gather
but the rain gutters love

love's lace tightens and
sweeps the moon aside 

the guest carried further
than he wants to go



the machinery hammers a sad song
like hail hitting the side of my house

the coffee cools and government
gurneys carry more than the sick

plane talk is only pseudonym
for the bombs to fall

plant early - frost
plant late - no fruit

either way hands reach deep but the words
are empty without rhythm or rhyme


for a spring that flowered
on the third day

Edward Gates 2004

Edward Gates is the author of The Guest Touches Only Those Who Prepare (Owl's Head Press, Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada, 1991) and Seeing The World With One Eye (Broken Jaw Press, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, 1998).