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