“Another Week Begins” by Stephen Page

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Another Week Begins

By Stephen Page

When Jonathan turns off the highway the mud

in the road is a foot deep.  He clicks his vehicle

into 4-wheel drive and creeps forward in first gear

so not to slide into one of the ditches.  The white gates

of his ranch are open, El Misionero standing next

them.  He rolls his window down and sighs.  The air

smells green.  Green.  Green.

He drives to his office and talks with his capataz,

then they climb in the ranch pickup to go see a calf

cadaver.  It was born early that morning with a curled-

neck deformity, and unable to reach its mother’s tit

or the water trough, it just stumbled around awhile and fell

on its side.  The gauchos had skinned it and the vultures picked

it mostly clean, the eyes plucked out, the tongue sliced in half,

bits of intestine lying next to the spine, the heart and lungs mush

under the gristly ribs.

They drive to the Yellow House casco to see a pony cadaver.

Apparently, last night it leaped the fence around the

swimming pool and fell in the water. It lay on its side

on the grass where the yardkeeper placed it, its legs

stiff in the curled positions of swimming, yellow froth

tubed out of its nostrils.  It was only three-weeks old.

Jonathan goes for a long walk, alone—he admires

the greening grass, the knee-high wheat, the sprouting corn,

the blooming chamomile, the calves and ponies leaping about

pastures spotted white with egrets.

He hears bees buzzing, mockingbirds singing—

and he keeps walking, walking; walking

past the pastures, past the Wood,

until he enters a fallow field.

As he approaches a small marsh

a flock of black ibis lift

and cloud away.

*this poem first published on madswirl

http://madswirl.com/poetry/2018/02/another-week-begins/

Editor’s note:

Like any week, we walk through cadavers to stand free. – mh clay

on Mad Swirl Another Week Begins

I wanted to title this “Monday, Monday,” but that sounded so familiar as to have already been used.

Woman in Purple Shirt by Stephen Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman in purple shirt

pointing out tulips–

children clinging to her legs

 

published on brass bell which is curated by Zee Zahava

http://brassbellhaiku.blogspot.com.ar/2017/06/haiku-about-ways-we-experienced-may-23.html

 

 

El Misionero and The Wayward 


Two poems by Stephen Page published a while back in Renovation Journal, edited by Kate Hanson Foster.
#poetry #renovationJournal #stephenPage #KateHansonfoster Bennington Poets Bennington College Alumni Bennington College Master of Fine Arts in Writing Bennington Writers

 
El Misionero

by Stephen Page
On the patio, the cat waits,

meows, waits. She only comes when

the architects are not reconstructing

the Red House that the Tattler thought

was for him. The Blonde Collie Bitch

lies in heat upon the lawn. She hides

from that Black Bastard Sunday.

The Capataz house is empty,

and cold. It no longer electrifies

the fence that separates the Bulls

from the Cows. The Excuse Maker

has returned and partially corrupted

El Misionero, who with his blue

poncho to fend off cold, walks through

the predawn dew in quest of the horse

that can be ridden but is not broke.
El Misionero counts cows and gives

change. His river-black hair and brown

eyes lure the cows to calve and

the Palomino to pony. He must vacate

the Transit House and live

in the Central Home without lights.

 
The Wayward

by Stephen Page

 
Cows spilled out onto a moonless road,

and the white truck parked itself in front

of your home. Your scarlet jacket drapes

its seat. The tractor would not move and dug

itself deeper into mud. Fence posts raced

a thousand meters, then walked back, losing

line. The coffeed nightmares night not rain

but pen unplanned plans on paper. My saddle you

horse and barbwire yours, the nails unstucking

crude leather. My salty lasso you snapped

in two, cat-o-nining your shoulders and

back. The leather rack must be lifted

to shade, its sunned stench

olfactoring office windows. Electrify

lot sixteen, and fatten uncorned cows.

Lot ten’s drainage ditch caves in

both sides of the road and snakes

to replicate unwooded cement worm

tubes. Cereal Man pushed our combined

road further onto my property,

and while you slept, I went

wading into the wheat, searching

for the cow.

Finally and In the Room of the Dead

zymbol-2-cover copyZymbol 2: Autumn/Winter

Poetry by Stephen Page

Finally

While it is yet dark I slide from between
the sheets, pad to the kitchen, brew coffee,
and pack sweetrolls in a plastic bag. I strip
off my pajamas, shower myself with insect
repellent, and put on yesterday’s clothes. I
shoulder my backpack, and slip out the back
door, closing it quietly behind me. In the vestige
of moonlight I walk past the barn, feeling the dew
wet my ankles. Just inside the edge of the
Wood I breakfast on a treestump. Two barn
owls screech at my invasion and leave their
branch perch. A bat flaps violently by my
head. I roll marmalade around my tongue
and smell fecund earth spiced with decaying
leaves. A silver fox darts across a clearing,
and I unseat myself to wander the wood.
In the penumbra of trees I walk–I listen to
silence–I do not feel the weight of my
pack–I misplace time–an hour when I click
the light on my digital watch. The Myth
I seek does not appear but feel I was close
to finding it, or it finding me. A wooddove pops
its wings as it departs eucalypti mist auraed by
a vanilla sunrise. Treefrog croaks crescendo
then stop as I exit the treeline. A peach sun rises
behind a windmill as I cross the field to breakfast
a second time, this time with my wife.

In a lemon tree behind our ranchhouse, I discover
a newly made wasp nest bowing a brace of branches.

In the Room of the Dead

Mothballs permeate.

Grandfather slits open
A forty-pound fish
From anus to throat,
His nostrils flaring
At the effluvium.

Grandmother sits upon the lap
Of her gray-suited father,
Her pale dress fluttering
Above her chubby thighs,
Their skin dusted
With corn silk,
Stubble in the field
Behind them.

Your high-headed friend
Who prefers blue oxfords
And khakis with loafers,
Who planted the blooms
That perfume your garden,
Breathes ether and oxygen
Through a plastic mask
And winces at each needle prick
Of the vein-finding nurse.

You mother in lavender chiffon
Who swallowed every morning
whole garlic clove
Wheezes in a sanitary cloud
Of baby powder,
Her stomach cancer
Taken over.

Your father, a tall man
In a baker apron,
Sips aromatic yerba
In front of flock
Of sparrow, the birds
scuttling upwind
Of his diabetic
Gangrene feet.

An antique wool blanket
Is folded neatly
Upon the foot of the bed,
And atop the cedar chest of drawers,
The sliver frames
Never quite tarnish to black,
But remain a constant state of gray,

The chromatic faces stilled
By the opening of the door.

 

these poems published in Zymbol

Alternative Cover Copy
         Alternative Cover Copy

Zymbol logo

walking at sunset

brass bell: a haiku journal

brass japanese wind bell

walking at sunset
a lightning bug lands
upon my T-shirt
– Stephen Page
this poem published on brass bell by editor 
lightning bugs
read more of zee zahava’s selection of night poems here

 

A Muddy River

Robin in Srping

You are red-breasted, your song flute-like,
Your wings brown, your sharp eyes whitely circled.
A common day your voice makes remarkable;
So rare, you laid a single light blue egg.
As your mate vanished in northern flight,
Not perceiving reason, you cawed alarm
Plummeting before an olive-drab truck;
Callused-index-fingered riders caged you.
Escaping, you darted directly to a lawn
And plucked a burrowing worm; starving, you bore it
To your nestling, ravenous for her breath.
Your albino fledgling shudders on the edge
Of the nest, as summer winds sway the tree,
And below, a muddy river roars silently.

This poem origionally published in “The Timbre of Sand.”

The Timbre Of Sand - By Stephen Page
The Timbre Of Sand – By Stephen Page

 

hbms

opening the shades by Stephen Page

Brass Bell has published a poem by Stephen Page in the November Issue of Morning Haku:

Opening the Shades

Song of the Sparrow by Stephen Page

opening the shades
to let the morning light in —
two sparrows staring
– Stephen Page

Brass Bell is curated by Zee Zahava

brassjapanesewindbellzee3
Brass Bell

 

“In The Local News” by Stephen Page

In The Local News by Stephen Page as published on madswirl

read here: In The Local News

Santa Ana Ranch Office

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Jonathan and Dominic