Fall 2019, Volume 27

Poetry by Clyde Kessler

Eaker Branch

I wish the sky goodbye
with my father’s ghost. Stars
begin and end again. I sleep.
Pipits sing into the broom-straw
and I can’t wake from there.

This isn’t a word with silence.
It is one page torn. It is a cloud.
It is a field. There were sparrows.
Now there’s a musk thistle brood
sated with dust and burnt land.

If they sing, they fall apart
wintering in their silence.
I own my failures the same.
This froze a poem. This thawed
another haunted, unknown face.


Sleep drives its old van
home on top of jungle trees
because that’s the real road
or because there’s no other way
to see the whole sky from under
the ground since eternity
moves in every direction
mega-starved for a calendar
that says a rose chooses other
names and isn’t a rose on Mars
or under the Amazon, fishing
its red petals up from a dream.




BIO: Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife and son. His poems have been published in Visitant, South Florida Poetry Journal, and Rogue Agent, with poems soon in Still and Bending Genres. In 2017, Cedar Creek published his book Fiddling At Midnight's Farmhouse, which his wife, Kendall, illustrated.