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.