Blue Eagle

     The electric-blue hand-tooled eagle on the wallet of the depressed man has both wings drawn already, with heft given over to launching herself into the sky.

     What happens next appears decided. Already a few small animals are racing back under camouflage to rock at the lip of their burrows, the cool of quick-grown suddenness. Already more than a few have been holding their breath underwater or concatenating silently in primordial shade. A few may end up too far out in the open.

     The seasons tighten. The talon loosens and claw drops, where so much is going on in present hunger that isn’t stopping for now. Possibly it can’t. Already Celsius rises in the air and sea circulations. What’s screed and purred at the heights has sprung out, empty and full of power, above what’s beneath, drawn to the more vulnerable within reach.

     The man hands money over and hugs the brown sack of apples and meats softly to his chest, a little voice escaping from him as he aims his next steps in a direction.

     In underground chambers, mouse-like creatures which over eons evolved into pachyderms and wolves lick a youngster’s head, alert for those in the field, for their mammal brethren and the future.

     Survival may still depend on quickness as on will of the masses facing complexities of life-support threats.




About the Author: James Grabill’s recent work is online at the Buddhist Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Terrain, Urthona (UK), Shenandoah, The Oxonian Review (UK), Stand (UK), East West Journal, The Common Review, Toronto Quarterly, Mad Hatter’s Review, Red Savina Review, Oxonian Review (UK), Plumwood Mountain (AUS), Caliban, Spittoon, Weber: The Contemporary West, and many others. His books include Poem Rising Out of the Earth (1994) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (2003), both from Lynx House Press. Wordcraft of Oregon has published his new project of environmental prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve: Book One, 2014 (available online here), Book Two, 2015 (now available). A long-time Oregon resident, he teaches 'systems thinking' and global issues relative to sustainability.

Drumming Reaches Us from New Orleans

     Occidental sins collect in the common grave where light goes once it’s
over. Intent in this world means everything.

     The estuary revolves around the tiniest which enable the larger and vice
versa. The great wheel turns, half dependent on money and timing.

     A senator on C-Span declares, None of these liberties mean much after
you’re dead
, as if meaning in the present hadn’t come from the past and the
long-range future.

     This goes on where the spectrum is architecture waiting for an end of
rain, or for the brothers embattled to settle their differences, as close as they
are to being one another, as similar as all of us are.

     Looming in the future world is the invisible country where minds have
cleared and the weaker are cared for, where wind rushing out of the calendars
finally calms down in the fractal complexity of forests, where matter drinks
from the river of electrical pulse.

     Out of New Orleans, a year after the hurricane, drumming reaches from
the waterfront where brothers and sisters are equal. Construction continues in
the empty place where everyone interconnects.

About the Author James Grabill:
Since the ‘70s, James Grabill’s poems have appeared in periodicals such as Harvard Review, Terrain, Urthona (UK), Shenandoah, The Oxonian Review (UK), Stand (UK), East West Journal, and The Common Review. His books include An Indigo Scent after the Rain and Poem Rising Out of the Earth. He teaches "systems thinking" relative to sustainability. Read more of his recent work at the Harvard Review Online and Magma Poetry Online.