Morning Nocturne

hills beyond the trees—i cant see them
mild breeze, no sun. i’m not waiting for the changes
stillness is an illusion—stop youre blood for even a second.
i dont hold my breath, just hold it back,
as pressure builds, as breath looks for escape routes

if the sound of the tires that just passed by were a trumpet
if the highway was a drummer using brushes
i’m the bass, gently pressing one string like testing bread dough
to see if it springs back. the song starts so familiar
then a wan chord of appetite, a surprising thump
like a box falling from a shelf, the next verse is me
leaving my chair, going to the kitchen to coffee


Rain Two Miles High

Cows dont mind the rain, frogs encourage it,
all kinds of things disappear in there—intentions, old coins,
red velvet, guitar strings that refuse to be tuned

Hummingbirds from half a mile away burst from the fog
aromas of unheard of food combinations,
like garlic & peppermint, chicken stock & caramel

Scorpion fog, chain link fog
when adam & eve left the garden fog enclosed it
like a boxcar and took it to another mythology

Dont tell me my blood pressure—how thick is the fog
in my heart, can you see all the way to my toes
or barely to the end of my ribs

Some say fog lifts, some say it thins
maybe we just get used to it or change the channel
places it only rains after 3 pm
places the sand is brighter than the sun

Rain thinks fog can conceal the iron, hunger, bruises
that are more weather than news; fog barters
rain for heat from friction, from packing together
fog an education in sudden shifts, forced entropy
as if fire will never return, rain cant wait
for the punchline, the aha scattering to clarity


Dan Raphael’s poetry collection Manything will be published this fall by Impossible Books; Everyone in This Movie Gets Paid came out in June of ’16 from Last Word Press. Current poems appear in Caliban, Mad Swirl, Stealing Light, The Opiate and Oddville. Every Wednesday, Dan writes and records a current events poem for the KBOO Evening News.