— Richard Wilbur on his World War II service.
a far flung mythic draft about the skies
above the heavens and the tallest contrives
he floats without a nation
pupil only to gravity’s polis.
the lone gray ranger amongst the black,
the sable slant of perfect time,
for the cosmos know only verity,
no whims or lies of mortal men.
the vast whispers “good life.”
in Gemini, and Crux, and Leo
ordained in the heavenly realm
turned about, unchanging.
the brittle rays afford no love
as they bounce from the earth’s blue crown,
only the expanse of the yonder warms
so finite in a gibbous light.
an acronym of script bears his origin
but not his conscience,
it storms beneath his suit
stuck in the steel of gray.
The clouds once seen as heavens
collide below him now,
Ever-changing swells of white
soon to be black with squall.
one more hour now above the fray.
one more glimpse of certainty
alone in this sky of black
soon to be lost in earth’s blue haze.
by Zach Mick
A stag prods through the hollow shoots of birch,
hooves drudging through the leaves
forsaking an artery of scorched earth.
He hears a clatter of copper and steel
and jabs his gaze above the Spruce,
pressed to see the field.
A glare echoes from distance - a swirl of vigor presses from his lungs.
A scream of a falling oak cuts the forest air -
he leaps forwards and snaps back onto a mash of thorns and twigs,
a burn splits his sides.
He fusses for a moment - wheezing and flaring for air,
protesting the stream of blood fleeing from his veins.
The bed around him warms - tarnished a deeper shade of death.
His fractional heart beats again. again. again.
and no more.
by zach mick