A WOLF IN THE HEAD It is no allergy. Not even layer. There is wolf in this human head. Its sharp teeth grow sharper in the inside chomping. Damp. Looking out the dimmed window: full moon half out of thin fog. Now howling. For soft prey? Predictably much is forgotten though no dream here— this is the real stuff. Now owl in the eye of the eagle— eagle after owl and after wolf. That wolf in the head. Wolf after owl. Now the victims recede. No victories. But battles. Mouth verbs and consonants cannot get along any longer. Left are the yowls and the gutturals. Taking loud stock. The peace is full blood. After chaos the wolf disappears from the head leaving only dry teeth in a small mound— and the sounds and winds of bird wings, echoless.
PLEASE PASS WHAT HE SAID Preacher spoke cube mode Congregants stood tall Asteroid never came Summerstone waited Hound slept on his feet Swimming the backstroke His Mom never tried But her breaststroke kept Her up afloating That’s how he recalled The in-gathering Was curriculum Never spoken loud In the family Summerstone passed on His great last panic To progenitors Always talking back Summerstone managed To put cart before Horse and picking up All what he left off He drove his sad self Into the lake Mom Once swam and finally The asteroid dropped
Alan Bern, retired children’s librarian, is a prize-winning poet, storywriter, and photographer with three poetry books: No no the saddest and Waterwalking in Berkeley from Fithian Press; greater distance, Lines & Faces, his own fine press/publisher specializing in illustrated poetry broadsides, collaborating with artist/printer Robert Woods, linesandfaces.com.
Alan performs with the dancer Lucinda Weaver as PACES and with musicians from Composing Together, composingtogether.org.