john macker | ghost(s) solstice

ghost(s) solstice

Sometimes they’re nothing more than
birds driven to distraction
by the wind,
sometimes they’re the colors of
dawn’s indulgent appetite to
soften everything,
sometimes a pod of killer whale
shaped clouds
swimming across
solstice sky;
you can catch them in winter
on the edge of the Rio Grande
listening to the soul’s
still river.

They haunt the men who would
aspirate war,
sometimes, they hang feelings no
longer of use to us
on a red trembling moon.

The guardian angels of those who would
squirm under the border wire in
hellish desert silence, the
laundry of the dispossessed hangs
in shreds on mesquite thorns, they
follow ghost tracks, hang their thirst
on ghost winds, just above the ground that
rise with the heat in dispossessed whispers-

the brittle rib cage remains
of a riderless horse are pale in the sun.

she leaves her imprint in sweat against
a shaded rock, raven’s wings erupt out of the
stain & its feathers brush her face as she
trudges north.

0 Replies to “john macker | ghost(s) solstice”

  1. Macker’s poem outlines clouds as analogous to demigods, imbuing them with the same qualities that only we, mere mortals, can attribute to them. This lends a certain classic mythological aspect to his clouds, or rather the whole raw, unforgiving geographical persona of the American Southwest, that pushes his verse into the realm of American rationale. Macker’s clouds are illustrated as exactly what they are in the American southwest — wise behemoths drifting listlessly above the inescapable mortal plane of existence we find ourselves stuck on; his verse begs the question, “what can we learn from them?”

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