Puzzles

For the d’Verse Poets Pub prompt “puzzles”, 3 exerpts from a longer poem called Ozark Spring Suite that was published in Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

 

Words come slow by day
like starting a fire with wet wood.

Do you ever feel heavy
with the season’s damp humors,

snapped into lengths and stacked?
Would you sacrifice your growth-ringed core

to the marriage of carbon and oxygen
and the consuming heat of its bed?

*     *     *

When the tepee’d kindling would not catch
the feeble flame from the mac ‘n cheese box,

she said why not light some done crosswords,
and so he did, tearing solved puzzles

from the book and setting them, crumpled,
to burn, consonants and vowels and black squares,

clues and wordplays and clever misdirections,
flash of light and crackling heat,

all the old words reborn in fire,
a golden ring encircling them in the dark.

Words rose shimmering from the ashes,
spitting sparks, splitting the night air

like axes ringing, retelling the old tales
that call across a million years.

*     *     *

Some dreams rise like smoke
     and join the sky.
Some dreams spin around the river bend
     and float away.
Some dreams fall like leaves and lie
     beneath our feet.
Some dreams are cached like acorns
     in the hollows of forgotten trees.

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About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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9 Responses to Puzzles

  1. Perfect. It required me to read several times…and to sigh.

  2. brian miller says:

    magical ray…love how the old words rise in the burning of the puzzles, dance around and share their tales…even that last stanza with all the dreams…rather like the one in acorns, perhaps they will be found and planted becoming rather grand ones…

  3. Beth Winter says:

    This is stunning. I loved the images of words in the fire. Gorgeous.

  4. Beautifully written Ray ~ The second part for me was magical though:

    all the old words reborn in fire,
    a golden ring encircling them in the dark.

    And the last part, this verse is a gem ~

    Some dreams are cached like acorns
    in the hollows of forgotten trees.

  5. Poet Laundry says:

    Lovely work. The third excerpt is my favorite…beautiful.

  6. Marya says:

    This really landed with such wistfulness for me, Ray. Beautiful imagery and perfect-pitch tone. Bravo.

  7. claudia says:

    she said why not light some done crosswords…. dunno why but this sums up the magic in this for me.. really cool write ray

  8. Although #1 and #2 are lovely, I am doing the Camille faint over #3. Makes me want to sigh. I think I will.

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