Wendell Hawken

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Secular Psalm
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slaughtering Children
Well Then

Well Then



Would you consider

being Karen Blixen’s cuckoo clock

twice a day at two o’clock:  

coo-coo, coo-coo


           or Wynton Marsalas’

upper lip, specifically, the indented dip

his mouthpiece etched—

remember Satchmo’s?--an identifying

sign like the MS-13 tattoo

or Jimmy Choo shoe?

Or perhaps what sound looks like

as it travels wavy-wider

growing as it goes-- or Lady Gaga’s

throat, the black velvet ribbon

wound once around,

or her silver charm vibrating

over the come-together hollow

of her collar bones.

                      Or autumn

crickets, legs rubbing on themselves, 

the last warm sound 

before the shoe of winter drops.

For myself: all the above

plus in my cat’s mind

for the frozen moment

she considers the house wren

hopping past the glass--

and I would also be, while early cool

warms into day, the rise of fox 

stench from its night track—that is,

scent itself and likewise be

consumed as foxhounds seem to be.

Also what water does in wind,

ruffled as Aretha’s red bodice

before the casket closed. And—

even if only the once—I would be wind

fingers ruffling his gray-brown hair

on a day like all-day remembering

through time’s distance: as windfall

apples drop apple by apple

into the basket

of the mind,


Perhaps at the last also

be the tongue on the teeth of the truth

almost told as well as

the truth in the white of the lie

darkening into the rock-a-bye

baby of the by and by.

Trail Ride through Katherine's
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Reflecting Nearly All of Sunlight's Rays
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Lemon Tea
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