L. Ward Abel ~ Five Poems

Artifacts from the Endl.ward-abel

Having excavated the apocalypse, noting
a careful sedimentation with trowels
and toothbrushes,
I stumbled on the end.

They said it would. End. Some
of my friends had put away
so they could eat at a rapturous

And many days I felt as if I should
listen to the horses listen to
the water to the rails
for reverb

but I always found myself
taking deep breaths and
remembering things associated
with being grounded.

Auden’s Icarus

There precarium march
with no roots to bury
seem certain of something,
seem fixed on thin air.

The smell of pine twisting,
the hill where it crossed over,
belie lines of power
whom they still believe.

Macon, 1967

It was October. The front
room was full of people.
At that time, older men
still wore hats when they
were dressed in their best

suits. This occasion was
a funeral. Conversation
was somewhat hushed,
and there was food in
the kitchen where some

old women whispered.
There he sat well across
the room, in a formal
gold padded chair. I
could smell the paper

mill. The sun came in
at an angle that lit only
his left shoulder, and he
motioned for me to come
over. In that crowded

room, he sat me in his lap
facing away and, placing
his hand upon my head,
my father cried

The Night Comes Like Clouds

The night comes like clouds;
LaGrange and the nearness
of tragedy
all in threes.

A red plant fades after Christmas
like an image of orange coveralls;
roiling EMT’s gather up the rough
the splayed.

Tell me about the Luftwaffe,
about things that string veiny
over and across.
And I can be seen from space.

Rabun Branch Road

Green tufted the great, gray
wall of hardwood
peaks south southeast
with reddening here there
blushes from the spectacle
to come, when it will almost
never cool.

Roots of the Atlas Range
are exiled from these hills.
A bright yellow shopping bag
now waves in a hemlock
like a standard or sign,
its oval path exactly
a year

and a hundred yards away.
It makes me recall watching
the Masters network feed
lamenting the utter loss
of empire by a black wet
field that was just

© L. Ward Abel

Poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online, and is the author of Peach Box and Verge (Little Poem Press, 2003), Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008), Torn Sky Bleeding Blue (erbacce-Press, 2010), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Cousins Over Colder Fields (Finishing Line Press, 2013), Roseorange (Flutter Press, 2013), and the forthcoming Little Town gods (Folded Word Press).