Keith Moul

Consider it All

Sometimes the ground opens up
and there at the entrance to the cave
arrives a spelunker, even for a shallow cavern
someone tests him(her)self in the darkness;
someone writes a magazine article with art;
thinking mostly of future fame, fortune or
an afterlife; or alone on the prairie someone
considers the soul, called an everlasting spark,
a testament to future generations. Nothing
really new happens under the sun, a light breeze
in quiet will not form a reputation.

Concentrated effort may actually do, or
strict consideration of the past carried
forward for a future audience, intended
for a future audience might well do it;
crazy similitudes expended, under influence
of the great may do it, but probably not.

Stars off course in the universe may collide;
the prize bull’s seed may fail in performance;
conditions sought may not exist in fierce winds;
dark reaches may indeed contradict intentions.

Go forward a few steps and simply cease.
Nothing meets its end happily or other than
with survival in mind except the farmer
in the adjacent field, pungent with possibilities,
who paces his tractor and attaches immortality.

Keith Moul © 2017

3$ Bill

My father taught me the want of a thing early,
a thing easily had for work, or money, but not
non-existent like a $3 bill. Dad was the kind who
would give one of his few shirts off his back if
someone had a need. He had lived a long time
with need, often food in drought years. It twisted
his gut and bent his mind toward giving that hurt
to forget or to ignore. In bad days for neighbors,
he thought this nothing more than old sincerities.

Our taproots bore, and like hickory in willful wind,
resist shame of obeisance. Dad knows quartering
wind that must attack until expired to exhaustion,
as if he had often dug deeper than furrows to know.

Dad can move over this land as if he mimes a waltz,
still with energy to bring mom and me to the dance.

Elder Prerogative

A native tribe displays its dugout canoes. Mightily
the river hides beyond the cloaking trees; men
come to celebrate. Blue herons arrive for joy.
Canadian geese in a line promote organization.

No need to debate the practice or its image; it
repeats without audience often over vast time.

Sometimes I climb short trails or hike to see falls
or an astonishing river valley. At such times
contentment and rest from labor mean the same.
Such sights spark imagination of most viewers, but
today I rest at an interstate rest area and look west
on miles of dry, flat terrain, with one equal width
to separate the highway’s lanes for endless miles.

Bathed in perspiration with little breath in my lungs,
no respite accrues. Down the road at a small museum
the curator displays a well-fitted and well-maintained
Conestoga wagon, “best” travel mode, plains-tested.

Keith Moul © 2017