Hamilton Stone Review #18



James Grabill

Humpback Calf



Those denying what they’ve been doing,

who force everyone to clean up behind them

the way they can, might not know the mess

we’re in, and can be found dissolving and fuming

elemental chemistry at other people’s expense,

others be damned, their compounds gone down

slopes of the watershed, back to the underground,

then treated or not, eventually irrigating corn

or poured from the tap into a person’s glass.

Those who created suffering in the morning,

who knew nothing about it in the evening.



A winter for the crimson-brown

white-specked rooster out back

every forty to ninety minutes shrieking

as if dawn had just cracked, so instantly

he’s responsible for pecking the hens awake,

many who’re there squawking and clucking

with an intensity that many people here

keep in reserve for their terrorists.


The rooster’s alarm, elevated further,

would soon be out of view, so high up

he’d be one of the satellites of Saturn

where loss of gravity feels like home.


Such a point in four dimensions

could guide the balance of labor

on the ground, as if the rich weren’t

still out denying their costs to us,

as ghost radios are pouring into the rooms

and muscles, alive the way people can be

carried by more than we know, not simply

as our names, but where each life is woven

before birth, as if ocean fish could be seen

all at once, the time the fish will sing

night stars back across the open waters.

The time fish are artists, with dredged

sea floors on the palette, the overhead sea

surface steaming, mammalian, a humpback

calf in the shallower almost amniotic water,

one eye gazing into the eye of her mother.

Call her a baby,

and the ocean

her mother’s womb.



The vast trash vortex swirls north

and east of Hawaii, twice the size

of Texas, its current packing the lost

plastics which fill the bellies of fish

and birds there until they can’t eat

any more, and can’t pass the plastics,

and can’t avoid the parts of ghost nets

still catching what swims there.

The river factories continue to fume

carbon out to the heights, deconstructing

everyone’s future, even their own,

the days there, the water and billions

living, the decades of boiling chicken

off the bone, the loosened carbon

with oxygen dissolved into oceans

that, after passing a point, will be

exhaling carbon back into the air.



These bodies of mammals, especially

mammals now that humpbacks are,

the mammals now people living we know,

these children of ours having the next

children who soon enough may be at risk.

In the face of chemical farmland slipping

bread basket Midwest soon irrigated-out

then up-welled hotter with scarcity of water

gone north, as plants will for leaves

to rain-shifted spreads, as the Southwest

out-crawling drifts may desertify forests

parched by earlier melts, clear-cut

as the methanes up-streaming, hot-flooded

work weeks, spawning the grain-hungry

masses, when further disruption uproots

much we were given. Now we have fewer

than ten years to stop the gases, or more

than five, fewer than twenty, to act

on and adjust to what’s unthinkable,

scientists say, is liable

then to be coming down.



Rapturous Swims of Coastal Debris

As if long swims of scripture could summarize

the exact outages of political will, molecular

integrity laboring in the face of cellular parts

of the circle diametrically opposed to projected ends.


The leathery scent of ranches in organic swells of what’s left

unplugged as volts torn from a socket, metronomic

and raw, quickened along oil roads black-laced

on the outskirts, however it feels, if you’ll offer water


or argue for giving less, where holding is half the problem,

half the solving, where clarinets go lost in spirals

of first eggs under sea light, wind that’s dust in rain.


The diluted whole with seahorses held in Pacific

Ocean womb the father-hearts belly-hinge here

the endogenous quantum nature of appearance

working its circle open to then withdraw, afternoon

to afternoon as tribal musicians squat with instruments


practicing the stone walls ornate as endorphic spreads

of fin leavings on the shore, sleeking out hydroid

churnings, the chorded molluscan nodes root-docked

with new dredgings, tonic and in-scooped.


Spawned under molts rock-fossiled as sea air

in all cultural apex, the off-basement cities

a crystalline blue unfolding as rain over Mayan yellow

and gold once tap-rooted by European settlements.


Along with so much more, for everyone to be going

soon through ocean-flooded future times

maybe there’s nothing to eat, as water will have been


re-establishing credentials, echoing root name

birth shatterings, snapping back atmospheric

to then tender methane which advances 60%,

the carbon dioxide 450 ppm for anthropogenic end.



Everything Is Waves

      [waves turn into energy]

At least one-hundred billion

galaxies sweep us along


again showing photographs of the eclipse


of the world’s poor

who’re hungry


a few sparrows mercy-gripping maples

after flights through tinctures

over the red taverns


as breaking subatomic reception

of the body in each cell


when glaciated time is melting

the ways craving has light


uncertain as a finch’s touch

on cheekbones of a model


walking in space made by hips

of a smallest particle


held by the immensity of weight

in unseen circling


however complex breathing can be


however oceanic

and long as scattered sunflowers


or the smallest grip

taking on form

and this burden

under daytime stars.



The Catastrophic Grocery Incident

The afternoon had gone as expected at first, its fire fighter

on the bread aisle, the widow near freezer doors suddenly

dropping boxes into her cart near the new-formula tortilla display

with flags from Mexico City, the woman with engine-red hair,

the man in his ‘50s gray undershirt, the woman in her aqua gown

on the kitchen supply aisle talking in an East European dialect

to herself or on a device, the conveyors running then stopped,

running then stopped, and suddenly the floors of the place

began to rumble, and to crack into icebergs that were tilting

when the back storerooms blew and aisles fell pitch black

with everyone shrieking, as the massive diesel train engines

blared through, plowing and catapulting the propagation,

the salmon slabs knocked intro whirling knife blades at pitches

shattering the glass, towers of cans colliding as loud men shouted

in monotone ringing and thundering fruit that was splashing

onto sea floors collapsing, Las Vegas crumbling, the money dust

everywhere, the sky over San Francisco Bay dark with salivary

groans of bridge steel twisting, with walls collapsed into crackling

static in avalanche winds, shelves hammered hard by train cars

from Chicago, five engines plowing through each sugar sack,

coal-fired plants burning tungsten, frothing toward underground

stews, blast-furnaced government structures issuing an orange alert

with a few warning horns absently crying, Egyptians rioting for food

in Egypt, hitching road workers blind-sided, firing off repeating caved-in

indebtedness to no one, the Justice Department already out-gutted

with violation, raw milk tank cars thundering through each bedroom

community, the bones flying loose inside legs of people walking,

the pabulum hurled and ball bearings loose under each boot sole,

the rust-crossed spikes driven into mid-drifts stuffing the atmosphere

with thuds hitting solar rays downpouring through magnifying glass

roiled-out through CIA layers as manufactory pension fund releases,

vaporized on a Reagan dime into glacial ice over moon-blanched heads,

the silver-spoon president drawling for every power simultaneously,

the razor-wired detonations in Penney’s shirt pockets, individuals

maimed when the flocks collapsed, angry crews racked by skull-boned

intentional lies of their nuclear opposites, then spit, full-throttled,

into sprays of red-purple finishing nails bacterially infested

so truth will sound like lies, then jagged patches of rooftops

saucering off into locomotive squall blasts already mutating

as raw meat counters thunder-rolling fronts of heat

down viscous oil-sheeted avenues lubed up

greenish beige in quantum coffinry, no single

shambles ruined but that instantly released a fireball

of absentee amateur zeros drug out spill-bellied

through ingestion of Appalachian mountain-top coal,

the ignited TNT caboose malls

near turn-offs inhaling sleets

of military fuselages,

and on the heels of that,

showers of nuclear cars emulsified

throughout rank core-roaring

cemetery remains risen

into the next blood-sport

of numeral-driven tsunamis,

as a bit of the market

wisdom started

to fully kick in

with papal decrees.


The Hour Before Precognitions of William James



The hour before cottonwood leaves

break into night sky, before poplars

comb through the passing runners.


With onion-domed ovens at the bakery

still warm from the planet having formed,

having received sunlight this hour

the nets dredge the on-rolling sea floors,


a candidate’s angry words barreling in a boy,

the midnight coals scalding red, bowling

through a person’s future sleep.



The silver-black locomotives

mined brilliance of the West.


When many called where they were

what they owned, and what they’d seen

all they’d seen, as if moss, as if groves

of sequoia, as if the horizon they owned.


The rooftops of afternoon swirled-up dust

became an influx there with William James

leading other Harvard psychologists

in telekinesis, penetrations of matter

and space, through which time jumps

past what might have been unthought.



An unnarrowed road, its immeasurable

wall of lit candles, the wind nothing

but waves, with hydraulics visible

only when moving through the future.


Before the mind contained what it isn’t.

Before open sky as scent of Shell gasoline.


Before Tibetan lamas roaring in the core

came here, throat-singing, doing calm

through two songs at once, a person here

and rock of Earth, the person sitting

on rock, the Earth opening to light.



A first time measuring blood as it carries

the next fires, wind over the river

of atoms, the root rains of green plants

in the hour before bees, as no place other,


before descending red-orange quickening

over billions living their roots in the world,

the unseen opening core of a next unknowable


widening above what cannot be seen

before rain on the Ford windshield clears,

planting the Earth beneath systems

of suns in pulsatile fields, the unseen

next atoms intuited clear from seed,


the hour here a museum with many floors

to be discovered, that owned us from birth.



Esoteric seeds, what we’d memorized

before returning to speak, the hills

with ridges extending to any phrenological

up-swept matters, receiving their blooms,


threaded there with night

of starlit mind, the impulses


linked, as if it were the first

time the inner sound was on,

before more could be found.

As She’d Agreed

Her old mammals left her with an eclipse

talking down all the time to the sorrow

in cemeteries of elapsed bells, the kitchen hulks

blistering the uncounted cards ripped together

as if parts of the week could be fully digested,


her religious metals peppered into a head

of cattle sandwiched there by a constant Pacific

sweat-soaked flame stinking of parsonage hounds

as tomatoes with their exegesis crested into a chance

they’d anti-mushroom, accidentally captured by the future

scarlet, and her disobedience far from a contemporary

setting on the unfinished camera, as her hurled-open


duck marsh hauled ducks in like the day’s forgiving

which gave her an edge of an open-pit mountain top

sold off in vastness, the difficult number zeros not hatching

into a devotional Vedic hymn a girl sings to the comets

surrounded, as they are, by carvings of solemnity


to make gravity impermanent, with roundness built in

to the ancient city a dolphin might notice when she leaps

far out of the ocean, past the thirty-seventh windows

with her brilliance of silver brain awake for the long time,


the complex naval-interrupted maneuvers, with forests

assuming the century’s priesthood wood-pulse shade

sheltering light if it could, so the sound of hard rice pours

rain into empty sun barrels the sunlit avalanche of thinking


and caring now about later unowned sky and the disowned

you know, and what can be done, as we are gentle people

of terribly overheard deserts, breaking out in trouble

once again the photographs of years later built in the air

in a tumult of swells vaporous visible stomach longing rain

clouds, and why don’t they just go home asking for an elegance

adept as Obama at furthering close agreements of individuality.




Libby Hart

Man walks into the water

I wonder,

are you the tide I’m gathering at my chest?

You, who’ve been gone so long.


Perhaps, you’re the morning air?


Your landscape of possibility

a dance of knowing steps,

reaping the sum of the sky.


Holding shadow like rain cloud.

My body becomes a wave,

an ocean of thought. A song.


Cliffs of Moher

And the wind buries breath,

and all things come and go.


Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer

just a misty presence out there,

just like ghost-song.


And all things seem out of focus,

and all things blur from effort,

as if the world was made up

of two parts thunder, one part rain.




CL Bledsoe

Caricatures Can Never Be Loved

I hear music when I’m trying to

work. You have to understand: no one

cries for the fat man with the broken knees

smeared in banana skin, the librarian

splattered under a piano. Heads don’t turn

from the droning click of keys

to even notice the tragedy of dying

in khakis. I trap my hours in graphite,

pin their wings to the page and draw neat

lines through them when I’ve spent them.

This is how it should be, no? And yet

tell me how. I can’t even spell

the word libretto, and yet at the periphery

of my hearing, voices rise, and here I scribble.


Only Tell Me Which Is Which

I am Woodrow Wilson in Indiana. I am Margaret Sanger before Ernst Rudin. Consider Sir Francis Galton’s hairy knuckles exposed while reading his cousin’s book. Consider Alexander Graham Bell’s high stepping cattle as shown to the American Breeders’ Association. I’m talking about regression towards the mean. I’m talking about the rising ape. The men of Tuskegee are only numbers. There are no choices, only a general downward slide. We need a loan from the genius bank. We must sever the posterior from posterity. We must breed men like carthorses. Catch the falling angel and steal its wings. We’ve got to get the feeble-minded off the tax payers’ backs. We hold each other back.



Knock, Knock

Let me tell you a joke: all of us

are dying. Guy walks into a bar

because he doesn’t have the sense

to buy at cost. The little things,

the most delicate, the precious, the special

will be broken just as randomly

as our hopes. A salesman asks a farmer to spend

the night. Farmer says, only if you don’t

mess with my underage daughter. Salesman says, sure,

but what if she starts it? Farmer says

that’s different. Truth is only a word and words

are often misspelled and rarely understood,

and the ones that are perfectly understood

are still lost. We are none of us noble

when the shit spews from our dying

backsides, the piss soaks our withering

groins. No matter what we’ve bought or

believed in, we are all destined to rot.

Our children will follow and their children.

Even if we are recognized, miraculously,

momentarily as something more than

ordinary, our works will be forgotten. Honor

the days before they are nights, the nights

before they are outshone. Remember

the time Matt fell off the trampoline, hanged,

one leg thrown over, both hands gripping,

slipped, wide-eyed, sardonic and inevitable

onto the fresh cow pile below. We are all of us

nothing but sufferers, pathetic, ugly,

and unappreciated. We are all of us alone,

but it is ours, that suffering, unique and unknown.

And when we are dust, it will be, too,



The Mayor

The chill envelops the arms like sleeves;

it wants to be worn,

shown off like anniversary pearls,

smooth skinned,

tasting of envious eyes that smell of glue.

Grab its tail, if you like, but it will squeak free

to scurry in a corner, always watching

always gnawing at bare toes .

But why must they be bare?

But why can’t they be bare?

This is the problem of sunlight

that doesn’t burn, muscles

that don’t stretch, only break.

The blue-veined arm of need

which doesn’t consider the perspective

of tan. You are the mayor of worthless,

and I will only vote for you. But understand

I’m asking you not to run.

Tomorrow yawns, stretches its tootsies

and wanders to the fridge, praying for:


Our Painted Dead

First, consider Eichmann’s pension

plan, the student loan debt with which we saddle

our literate few that keeps them treading

water until they’ve forgotten the fire

of reform. Notice the bureaucracy of complaint, the con

fusion of necessary/not necessary. The planned

obsolescence of education. Notice the respect

for long-term incompetence versus in

novation. The European workday. The circadian

rhythms of the body and the effects these have

on productivity. Notice the stress of the caged

rat. The ever-looking-towards-tomorrow

and the sudden greed of today.


Ask: what do we value? Do we value? When

we see Rebecca on the road, do we let her

pass? When she says, “I know who you are,” do we

ignore her scratching at the bolted door

and simply clean up the mess on the porch

in the morning?


Consider the acceptance of the averted eye. The

condoning of noise. The lowered standards

we all are meant to praise. Notice the lack of respect

for honesty. The disappearing work ethic.

The inundation of mediocrity.

Ask: if I pay $20 for a pair of shoes

which last 2 months, am I saving money? Is saving

money the final consideration, even?

Ask: who made these shoes? Ask: how

are shoes made? In a similar manner,

how am I made and unmade, and likewise

the world around me.


Consider the Paranthropus’ quarter-sized molar

and where it got him. The elongated fingers

of the Australopithecus. Our kin. Our own

fingers, straight and long, our own teeth,

smaller, yes, but interspersed with eyeteeth, incisors.

Ask: what do I eat? And what does that make me?

Ask: am I born all I’ll be? Or shall I choose?

The Revelation of Buried Arms

The trees are spike-fingered hands, reaching.

The trees are hungry, but they’re not hungry for you.

Taste their slug-slow blood. It is warm

as sap can be. See the damp rot rise from

its bones; death does not need you in Maryland.

Death is well fed, here. It hardly smells your blood slowing,

your years tumbling out behind you.


Let us consider the naked branches, arms bereft

of adornment, hard to the touch and yet soft

and yet singular and yet common as clay.

The fading intentions of change. The necessary evil--remind me,

why is it necessary? Forgive me, forgive me; I can never

keep track of all the contradictions. Though Johnny may fly,

he has no wings. It’s difficult to explain without

reverting to abuse. You understand, don’t you? You will.


Those horrible trees; they ache along the thoroughfares,

the cracked streets, the boarded up buildings. They die

for us, who never even ask: Como te llamas? They only grasp,

hands, fingers, the revelations of buried arms

belonging to whom? To what? To when?



So as Not to Forget




The clouds gather stones to mark

the passage of days, waiting until the smell of grey

overwhelms. Wind rubs against grit, feels

it on its palm-skin and complains. The taste of rain

drowns the noise. Stone falls to dirt, joining.

These are not clouds, anymore. But let us not speak

of absolutes. Johnny done tore his ass. That’s why

his jeans don’t fit nomore. I don’t breathe

when I jump; the trick is knowing

when I’ve landed.




The red dirt of consciousness hoards

its wealth. Stones float. You think Old Johnny lies?

You will come to learn the truth: sputtering clouds,

when accosted, reveal their stones afin de ne pas

l’oublier. They will fall. Wait, as the clouds, as the tailors,

as must we all; wait.




Nicholas Karavatos

Greenhouse Effect Coffeeshop

I’m in the bass line

Listening to musical smoke

While everybody’s watching


The last few I slipped down

Steepest stairs in the world

Are Amsterdam’s

One Thousand One Arabian Nights

Is my room above the Greenhouse Effect


Four women walk

Through the front door

My age

Cider in the coffeeshop

Seated at the threshold I see

The first looks


now with you

now with you

is like being

alone only more


now with you

is like convers-

ing with nothing left

to say

now with you

not able to see outside

more than you could

not before

now with you

is less different than without

and I am even more


as I was before.



Kathleen Kenny

Beginning and End

The day before we leave

John drives us out, past

Tollymore, through Bryansford

by the graves,

on and up to Rafferty’s place.


At the cottage we let

ourselves through the gate,

straight to the back fence

where the fields start.


We lift the outhouse latch

see the well,

our family drawing water.


All the dead

stepping down to drink

and the spring-bathed face

of Mourna Ban Rua,

just like in the picture.


Take Off

At Belfast Harbour we settle in,

boiled sweets and gin all the way to England .

For days we have been keeping him

from leaving the ground, but now

after dropping us, John is off

to sing in his cups down at the Donard.


After lock-in he snakes to the take-out,

rolls down to the bay, to find again

the cloud like Nellie’s hair, the sand

that glints a smile, invites him to jump

down awhile, curl in its grain.


Tomorrow, fragile, flying back to Canada

John will blame jet-lag,

will rack his brain without success,

to explain the ear cut clean across,

the tear in his head:

the great thickness of lost blood.

Another Martyr for Auld Ireland
Another Murder for the Crown

When she comes over this time

Auntie Nellie brings Cousin John:

the young ginger one,

cute though because of the twang.


God love him, she says all the time

and after a while our mam joins in,

is back to talking just like them:

God rest her; Bless us and save us;


Heaven be praised.

For weeks after they go back

she’s at the front window

gazing out over our street


as if it’s Newcastle County Down

not Newcastle upon Tyne,

like an isolated rebel under attack

singing Kevin Barry to keep sane.



Mourna’s Reel

For the promise of white lace necks

on ringleted daughters

you will all leap off

across the water,


spend eternities on dancing frocks,

embroidering the Celtic cross

for all your frisky-kneed girls:

the new English champions of Ireland.


And I am here still,

stepping the centuries on Ulster stone

with no hard shoes to save me,

disconnect me from the Irish sod.


Beanna Bóirche

I am on my back

listening to the earth,

the water throwing itself

down the length of the Mournes,


the mountains whispering

the past:

St Donard saying Mass;

tales and legends,

the claim of names and flags,

while under me

green and orange intertwine, unite,

and I lie scraped and veined and mottled,


my purple-heathered knees

sticking up and out from me

like Slieve Donard and Slieve Thomas,

falling open under the black sky.

* Beanna Bóirche was the Gaelic name for the Mountains of Mourne,

still being used in the seventeenth century.

Those Glorious Skies

On its eleven-hundredth-and-forty-fifth trip

around her, the next full moon


will pull Teresa up,

move her to switch off the big light,


inch across the silver sitting room

to her window above the motorway.


Glorious, she will say, looking up,

knowing that what she sees above


is a dim version of her childhood vision

from the Mournes;


that city nightscapes fog things

with their squints of orangegreen artificial light,


clogging our blood so we forget

how to read this map of dark delights,


and all our grandmothers said

about the behaviour of the Heavens:


the stars, birds, colours and clouds,

all we need to know about tomorrow,


sought in the nature of sky.

Mourna and the Well

I spring from the land

of the Mournes

where the red-headed women dwell,

I live in the breath

of Rafferty’s cottage,

in the water drawn up from the well.


I fill the pail that Nellie carries,

I spill and I wash and I swell.

Over the fire I sting,

deliver the stew

that is served to the men.


Michael, William, Peter, Thomas,

and all the rest

bending their heads

at the watery steps

their bubbled knees, strong necks,

swirls of laughter, breath on stone.




Sandy McIntosh

Woman in the Bar

My wife and I took our seats at the bar in Penn Station,

Forty minutes to wait before our train.

The middle-aged woman sitting next to me,

Wearing a frilly prom dress,

A fancy cocktail untouched

Before her,

Leaned over and whispered:

“Hello, sailor. Do you think

You’re man enough

To rock my world?”

I hesitated. “I doubt it,” I told her.


She turned away

And began whispering to the man

To her left. Their conversation

Intense, but every

Once in a while she’d turn to me

With the whispered

Play-by-play: “He’s got

A wife in Copaigue, but thinks

Maybe he can catch the later train

If we head over to the

Hotel across the street

For a quick one.”

But by the time she’d turned back

To him, the man had stood up


And was rushing out of the bar.


Silence. The three of us

Alone. Then two women

Entered, and our new friend

Called: “Hey, Ladies. Can I

Buy you a drink?”

But the ladies scuttled

Into the shadows.

“They probably think

I’m into pussy,” the woman confided.

“Well, I can accommodate.”

It was time for our train, so Barbara and I

Stood up. I turned to say


“Going so soon?” she asked,

Then sighed. “Oh well.

It’s been

A slow evening.”


Rodney Nelson

Red River 1876

in the claim shanty you would not

have heard the bugling anyway

and it was morning and June where

a turtle moved on the river


the too many miles to the fort

would not be ridden again and

black driftage rocked where it had caught

in hanging roots at the mud bank


there might have been a brogan print

in the wet dirt or two or three

and a turtle moved into time

where the water closed behind it


the woods’ high avid hum got dim

in arising light and heat and

the shack did not have a window

but you would have known anyway


but a man or what had been one

lay axed in dark on the hay tick

and a turtle moved from open

mud into burdock and nettle


the ax had found a steamer trunk

with Jönsson written on it and

the wind went and did not come back

to hurry the river that day


gold coin rode in a haversack

where you had to hear the bugle

and a turtle moved out of time

into the rocking black water


there would be another bugling

too many a mile to the west

and later a crow would betake

to the hillside of what followed


Oregonian Text  

how to translate a ditch of bramble prick

with hidden moving water or mad green

blearing in window and windshield or the

runny sky not open every day

to show a gray denuded mountainside

way up and out

                     rhinovirus winter

in wet but the chill not enough to crimp

any smoke of fir brush or mill wigwam

and at night even a wood-cinder glint

on the highway then yew or hemlock air

and the subjugating of faint dawn by

another cloud

                     how to translate it all

David Woodward


Copious Amounts of Life in Every Drop

Are you a well-mothered man?

Were you fed

copious amounts of life

from nutritious mountains,

so pure

it drove you wild?

Did slow running streams

trickle down these healthy hills,

where you awaited at the bottom,

hungry and anxious,

only to have this rich life

enter half into your gaping mouth

while the other half

dribbled down your childish chin?

Was the steady stream

too abundant

as you greedily took

and wasted?

Did you take for granted

what was offered to you?

Were you expecting it

to last forever?

Do you wish


that you could go back

and intake every morsel,

get back

copious amounts of life

from nutritive mountains

so pure

it could give you back

your strength

your innocence,

a reason —

do you?


Well-mothered Men

Well-mothered men

used to be so abundant

you’d trip over them

along every street corner

in any town,




or west.

You’d want to beat

the crap out of them,

just to see if they’d bleed.


it is you

and me

getting the snot beaten out of us,


well-mothered men


somewhere inside of you

and me.

Macho Men

A new breed of man

has emerged

who doesn’t bleed.

Their strength is


sometimes so intense

it is laughable.

But you can’t touch it;

it doesn’t touch you.

And it doesn’t cry;

it doesn’t shy

away from telling you

to stop

dead in your tracks,

while you look into

their angry eyes

you can see

the pain they hold so dear

inside a vacant pool

where life,

rich and pure,

was meant to run to —

so long ago.

Well-mothered Men Play Catch-up

The rich and healthy streams

were not meant

to flow eternally,

so we were told.


we endured.

A healthy start

is all we can ask for

in the end,

and now,

never having known mothers’ milk,

and mother earth,

we slip

in and out

of one another,

lost sheep


without tears,

a new breed


without life

so pure

so innocent

so strong,

while the well-mothered man

plays catch-up

with his fellow man.

Ask Bukowski (But Don’t Shoot the Messenger)

Be honest,

for once,

and tell me,

no -- ask yourself,

which you would rather be,

a macho man

or a well-mothered man.

If you can’t be honest

with me

or yourself,

ask Bukowski,

he’ll tell you,

but you have to listen,

really listen,

it’s all there.

But please,

don’t go all Chapman on him

and kill him

all over again,

the way you did with Lennon.










H A M I L T O N   S T O N E    E D I T I O N S

p.o. box 43, Maplewood, New Jersey 07040