2016 10 12
Richard thrusts shovel blade into dry soil
and squints his eyes in hot afternoon sun
when soul-choking dust swirls into his face
though death sleeps hidden when hot sun shines bright.
Richard tears packets open with his teeth,
and spills small tomato seeds in dry hole,
that gapes large as abyss of numbing fear,
then scoops dust to fill hole of bleak despair.
Richard wipes his forehead, baked red in light
of searing sun rays that soar across void
of infinite space, as he walks to stream
where he fills rusting bucket with hot water.
Richard grasps handle and tips bucket slow
to pour tepid yellow water on dust,
that crumbles from his aching heart, then tamps
wet soil tight over small tomato seeds.
Richard shades his eyes and stares at far hills,
crouching in torn jeans and cracked leather boots,
then whispers magic spell to conjure clouds
of black rain to rise from ancient sea.
Richard stares at stained soil, black as despair,
and dreams green tendrils curling from white dust
to shroud featureless wasteland of numb horror
with plump tomatoes among fluttering leaves.
Richard stares back at small cottage he built
under dead oak, and imagines he sees
face of Katherine behind dust-smeared glass,
blond hair gleaming gold as sun on water.
Richard sees no face in the kitchen window,
glass cracked in half like his heart, so he stands
and squints at shadows of demons that lurk
on distant hill slopes where honey bees die.
Richard trudges back to wind-blasted cottage
and peers into large hole of dead oak tree
where gold nectar once dripped from honeycombs,
and stares at thousands of dead bees in dust.
Richard holds frail husk of a honey bee
between dirt-smudged fingers, and peers at face
of angelic wisdom, but sudden wind,
howling from hell, snatches it from his heart.