The Harvest, Pharmacology, and The Luminiferous Aether

I’ve been reading through some fantastic poetry entered into the contest, and frankly I’m thrilled to see such thoughtful, artful, and eloquent writers out there.  With permission, I’m honored to share these poets’ words.  For the month of August I’ll be posting great poems as they roll in.  Here are three for today:

The Harvest

She talks to them; knows that
although the remnant quiver
of a working nervous system at the knife’s point
is not awareness but only life’s
most rudimentary reaction, still she turns
this residual life into death by her hand,
and this one death into six lives or ten,
or sight, or new bone and ligament,
a new blood type, new scars, new hopes.
They cannot hear or see, but perhaps they know
that their last cut was made with love,
their last gift remembered. Such a cut
can never wound, could never sting.


~Jon Dean

Swallow Whole. Do Not Chew Or Crush.
Accept this directive unconditionally and
you will have your initiation to the unblooming –
it secrets revealed to you in the curling leaf,
the bashful twist of the morning glory’s skirts
rushing to hide her nakedness from Night.

A mystery cult steeped deep in confusion awaits,
expectant of your religious devotion. Tarry at the altar
of your bathroom counter, and consider the seed.
Plant it. Allelochemical explosion to silence
the stomatal choir, singing the songs somatic.

This Drug May Impair The Ability To Drive Or Operate Machinery.
You will not be rejuvenated or renewed, but you will
awake, and that is a small victory. It is the seed’s gift
to you, a single stem in a yellow plastic bud vase.
Pollen is a soporific. Your blankets will become
integuments, and no one will fault you when they harden.

Use Care Until You Become Familiar With Its Effects.
There is a wonder in the diversity of the penultimate
form – some, once inflorescent, find themselves
syncarpous, others dry and flatten, a winged samara
catching the next breeze to swirl to distant fortune.
Incant to axiom: The flower must die in childbirth.


The Luminiferous Aether
~Chris Barrett


She reaches across
me to turn
on the bedside lamp.

A cone of yellow light
knifes through the
I squint into it
as she answers
the phone.

It’s her mother.


The flight east
is longer than I remember.

On such short notice
we were unable
to get seats

She sits in the front
of the plane,
on the aisle,
listening to music
I’m in the back,
in a window seat,
the sunlight skirr
along the cloud


The sun is choked
by a knot of
gray clouds.

My wife, in
black, is stoic
against the
afternoon gloom.

Also in black,
her mother
weeps into
a balled tissue.

The sun emerges briefly,
illuminating the
polished teak of
the coffin.

A glint catches my
eye and I wince.


A lightning strike across
town triggers a power

A breeze whispers
through the
open window
of the guest
a candle burning
on the table across
the room.

We are sheathed
in darkness.


6 thoughts on “The Harvest, Pharmacology, and The Luminiferous Aether

  1. James Ph. Kotsybar

    — James Ph. Kotsybar

    Neo-cons bring relief from Constitution.
    When taken as directed, there are risks
    to liberty, privacy, speech and thought.
    Blurred vision, loss of awareness and
    educational blockage may occur
    in persons already taking dogma.
    Those with reason shouldn’t take Neo-cons.
    Domestic tragedy has been reported
    but, in most cases, these are localized
    instances that have not proven severe
    enough to stop the Administration.
    Side effects include censorship of breath,
    degradation of foreign relations,
    poverty, ignorance, torture and death.

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