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Sample Poems by Eric Fisher Stone

Beautiful Oinking Things

America, my childhood skips
over plains bugling snouts.
Bison belch wooly psalms
rainbowed above Wyoming.
I love you, America
though I bark alone as an astronaut
orbiting an abyss.

I'm not with you
bleeding the Gulf's oil,
children shackled like sad elephants.You rotted bald eagle eggs,
melted frogs to paste
and made theft personal freedom.

You're still full
of beautiful oinking things.
I taste your pine resin,
the drizzling cypress of your hair,
your breath, your midnight, your moon.
I keep sparrows in my throat
to chirp your requiem.

Grieving, I smell your stale kisses
and remember how it felt like
the whole world just made love.

Exuberance is Beauty

William Blake wrote. The lust of the goat
is the bounty of God. I ran cross-country
in high school, 5ks under 20 minutes
when September 11th happened.
I got drunk on for the first time
dizzy on Dad's bourbon, surfing the jazz
of the air, riding blue notes of my being.
Young and slim, I knew I'd never die,
my heartbeat blooming like a star.
I didn't think my future yawned enormous
as the open mouth of heaven; I knew it did.
I'd find a career, move tanned and fit
to California, prance molten joys in the sun.
Listening to the radio live
in Miss Harvey's English class, the second plane
smashed the South Tower in a meatball of smoke
but that was in New York, far from Texas
where my brothers and I spent our whole lives.I didn't think the US would fight a war
lasting longer than a year when I knew it wouldn't.

In third grade, my older brother looked
like me while our art teacher
thought I was him. Making our own
magical kingdom, we reigned peacefully
over stuffed animal subjects. One secret
I didn't tell: we'd run away together,
build the same nation on this beetle-rich earth
where all people would be kind, equal and free.

I graduated college while he priced items
at Sears, I drank too much soda,
became a plump scudding rat,
lucky to run a 5k in 30 minutes
while my brother preferred hard drinks to soft drinks.
We forgot our Kingdom of Peace,
that exuberance is beauty.

When Mom called me
about my brother's brain aneurism
I didn't think he'd survive; I knew he would
but the blood vessel burst and the war
begun sixteen years ago still roiled
in Afghan dust and bones, I haven't gone
to California while I wept at the funeral
not for the Eden that was but will be.

His ashes descended below jade
April grass flashing from loam
that held humankind between heaven
and earth. One day I'll build
the Kingdom my brother began.
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

I confront murderers' bloody hands
with my innocence, lullaby
the dead into flowers, knowing bones
grate to dust but childhood cannot die.
Now into my thirties, I'm still a boy,
Energy is eternal delight
and I will never surrender my joy.

Heart Ghazal

In Las Vegas, the Heart Attack Grill clogs the heart.
Patrons have died on site eating beyond their hearts'

capacity. Flatliner Fries, Quadruple Bypass
burgers are orders. Like a veiny tomato, the heart

thunders without the mind's permission or desire
to siphon blood. Like digestion or dreams, the heart

beats involuntarily. Jon Basso, the owner
said deaths on the premises help his business. Heart

in ancient semantics relates to words core and creed-
values frame this meaty blister. Aristotle thought the heart,

not the brain, was the source of thinking. In the sea
four feet wide and four hundred pounds, a blue whale's heart

pulses two to eight times per minute, its beat
heard two miles away. A water flea's heart

jitters visible in its clear flesh under
a microscope. Valentine's Day arrows through hearts

mean lovestruck. 'I died for love' the last words croon
from the song Butcher Boy and in life an impaled heart

would surely kill. The Oklahoma City bombing
in 1995 stopped one hundred sixty-eight hearts

and a picture made the papers of a fireman
holding a dead baby, bloody as a ruptured heart.

For the Last Loba

Fishnets fetter green sea turtles,
the last polar bear slips from ice floes,
a pounding rhinoceros gait
thuds to hornless tombs and the wolf limps
from a trap that took her foot.

The sun's rind sinks crimson
on the Chihuahua and Sonora border,
day cloven into night as she rests
her muzzle above a city, wailing a duet
with the freight train's plaintive vowel
grieving their passage to the abyss.

Wafting memories burn, chasing antelopes,
suckling pups, taking air
in her mouth, her tongue's flag in the wind,
the loba scurries to the other world,
to know in her body without words
this world, the kingdom of beasts,
bright and snow-footed,
dashing against darkness like the sea.