Friday, December 2, 2011

poems by Kevin Heaton

 Ageless Issues
                    from natural springs

The first placenta pardoned sweet

water through mother’s earth canal

onto thirsty feral parchment.

A natural spring preened velvet green

clusters tickling sweet gum toes,

and spit-shined flint-flaked remnants

etched into sojourner missteps whisked

away on the current. Errant time

traveller tracks not yet held to account

were foot-washed unto salvation.

I stood hushed inside the terminus seeking

truth, and ponderd mysteries entrusted

to ageless artesian Samaritans summoned

by holy men. There, I wet the nib

of my hopes in quenching second chances,

and absolved solace of mortal restraint.         

The Fountain of Youth

The ghost of Juan Ponce de Leon
possessed the serpentine tongue

of a python. It told the Moorish
tale of an everafter fountain

along the River Euphrates 
in The Garden of Eden beside

the tree of good and evil, formed
by strange tides and divers tidings,

where scarlet parrots cleanse
their plumes in the refilled Cup

of Christ and splash Templar
wine on red flamingos panning

for watercress at Alexander’s
well. There, forbidden fruits dine

on carnal flesh without conviction,
and fabled springs extend the life—

                             of each inquisitor.

Westward Ho!

Sodbusters burrowed in Mississippi

mud and found comfort on the backs

of True People. The brittle dead fingers

of Custer’s Elm branch splintered

wanderdust into dream seeker eyes.

Peyote pricks from a cactus rose thorn

grafted trances onto sage seer visions:

hinting moonlight glints through

a bullsnake’s reflection; sidewinding

snips at the nib of an owl. Deer antler

tips neath a rolling flint hill flaked

the frontier edge of an oak grove cusp.

Lies and tall tales agreed to split hairs

on the gist of a small Kansas town.

Roman Nose

Nephilim fell to Mount Olympus

and sired her a warrior son.

Through halcyon days on phoenix

wings swaddled warm in fox fur.

Principle god of prairie wars

sent to stir the great Cheyenne

and let the squatter vein. His talisman:

a Spencer carb, breech-clout lashed

to four six guns. A compound bow

drawn near to splinters; sentried

at the left hand. Where legends legion

he lingered long beside Platte water

counting coup. His blood-tipped nose:

a Roman lance; to preen the blue

in yellow eyes, and snipe the aim

from soldier awe.

The Godfather’s Soul

James Brown died with his cape

on. God cast him in bronze, booked

into a night gig on Broad Street;

where re-glazed burnt sugars sweet

roll johns’ dough in crack-alley pink

cadillacs, and homies sift dust

on the hood. They tend ‘The Father’s’

soul for a blessing and spit shine

his brass with crepe myrtle dew,

then deal salvation to pimps

and pisspot prophets with gold

lamé teeth, while baby mamas

suffer their little children to rap

a few beats wit ‘Da Man.’

Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton was born in Kansas, and now lives and writes in South Carolina. His fascination with history and love for the outdoors have led him on a journey to better understand life beyond the city limits. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in 150 publications, including: Raleigh Review, Foundling Review, The Honey Land Review, and elimae. His fourth chapbook, Chronicles, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in early 2012. He is a Best of the Net 2011 nominee.

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