J. P. Dancing Bear is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP, which is also available as podcasts. He is the author of thirteen collections of poetry, most recently, Love is a Burning Building,(FutureCycle Press, 2014), and his fourteenth, Cephalopodic, will be published in 2015 by Glass Lyre Press. His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, Shenandoah and elsewhere.
Nostalgia is a Dormant Seed
I fell in love with impractical plants, those that rose
into a temporary bloom, that bore no fruit,
offered only selfish seeds, and left their husks
for me to eventually weed. I gave my heart to them all.
I cast a mothering eye over the striped, the curling,
the vining, the sweet scented—I even cared
for the uncaressable cacti, their prickly dispositions
made them somehow more precious to me.
………….. . •
It was the ticking changes within my clock
those tarnished gears and tired springs—the inward
rust that whispered exotic names across my plains.
I was going back to my earlier days, the first time I bled
from the touch of a sharp green blade, long before
this lifetime of working neat, expectant farm rows.
Windows to the Soul
I’ll be the doorway that watches you go. — Hadara Bar-Nadav
I’ll be the windows that swing in the wake of your passing—
the ones that let the weather in; that call to the fog
and the seabirds and plea for you to snub the door.
You never look my way anymore—
here is the cloud of my heart. Perhaps I will just be
water now instead of fragile glass.
In this frame only the blackness of night… in this one
the ocean comes pounding through.
You are not just the footprints you leave behind
but the small flashes of your soles as they move further away.
I open a window to song, some lone bird in autumn
afraid of the oncoming winter, the empty whiteness.
So many things I still want to have pass from one window
to another, even as the storming surf melts your memory.