Coming into the Barn

Rain becomes the only sound
the plinking of a good
banjo as it hits the tin roof
the drumming of a four piece
bass, floor, tom and snare
playing on the pane

A soft splashing plop
of drop into puddle and pool,
the splat of booted foot more
syncopated jazz than symphony.

By Pat Anthony


To read more of Pat Anthony’s poems please visit middlecreekcurrents.

The Lintel Stone

No vestige of a cabin
remains where the lintel stone
lies anchored to the prairie
by a tangle of coneflowers.
No joists or tenons
but just this
tracery of fossils chained through
lichened limestone.
In borings where a bolt might’ve been
the black widow rolls her eggs
hope and death a red hourglass
ticking in the darkness.

By Pat Anthony

purple coneflowers at twilight on wah'kon-tah prairie.


To read more of Pat Anthony’s poems please visit middlecreekcurrents.

Photo of purple coneflowers at twilight on Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie by Tommy Brison

Messages

I have listened to these woods and there
is no arguing about countless layers sifting,
settling in their own time. No quarrel
about this resurrection of mosses and lichens
on dead wood, the broken rosary
of shelf fungi running the length of the dead
branch. No shouldering aside of sycamore’s
breadth blanketing the slender chinquapin.

Stone and spore lost in some time lapse
even as slender stemmed trilliums tip wine
cups heedless as to gray or green. Scrolls
the lot of them, veined messages beyond
the stripped cedar where the mountain
lion scratches shredded sentences
across the blank page of the moon.

By Pat Anthony

forest floor of a springtime forest


To read more of Pat Anthony’s poems please visit middlecreekcurrents.

Photo by Sian Cox

While Reading Teale’s North with the Spring

In the wild strawberries, a male box turtle
with fierce red eyes hisses against the booted
intrusion as killdeer vie for invisibility and a
snail slowly traverses a blade of grass.

Bloom hangs heavy on the bois d’arc and
cinquefoils shake yellow petaled heads. Night
crawlers flooded out from last night’s rain
still snake through the deer trodden mud
toward a new home beyond the drying wind.
First pasture roses open slowly like a child’s
sticky fist and pale spider worts nod on tall
stems to mark this middle of May.

Teale knew that to chart the vagaries of land
meant daily pilgrimage, a profound need
larger than desire or wish. Beyond seeing,
he knew the squelching boot, the chill
of rain damp wind, the torrent and deluge
and how they lift the spirit to soaring
crescendo and decrescendo like the songs
of dueling mockingbirds, or the flare of
orange oriole across the eastern timber.

How upon retiring, one could chew the lot
of it like rabbits in sweet clover, ruminating
over notes and notions, knowing there will be
another day to walk through and compare to
the ones gone, anticipate the ones to come.

By Pat Anthony

North With Spring Book Cover


To read more of Pat Anthony’s poems please visit middlecreekcurrents.

Bronze Fish

Cup this leaf
until vein touches
vein, the flowing,
the not flowing.
Stem, wrist,
apex, fingertips.

This leaf has
held swollen raindrops,
the red ladybug beetle.

Trace the imprint
of finch’s beak, the bluebird’s
lifting off with the inchworm.

Thumb snagged fluff
of summer thistle.

Your palm is a cradle for this,
so smooth the web to fit your hand
like the whorl of a funnel
weaver, close your fingers.

Catch it all: release.

By Pat Anthony


To read more of Pat Anthony’s poems please visit middlecreekcurrents.