Right here, where K-10 crosses Kill Creek,
A single purple iris pushes its way up
Through a jagged crack in the hot tarmac.
And here, on the corner
Of Prudence and Hope, a telephone pole
begins to shoot sparks and smoke.
And here, on this rickety bridge,
Where Big Earl Corby was, reportedly, last seen
(Pissing over the side, and, never heard from again),
A small gold statue appears some nights
when the planets are properly aligned
and the moon is just right.
And here, at the top of the rise,
by the side of Big Whiskey road,
a sky-blue Packard Slumps atop an alter
made of planks and fence-posts;
bees in its belly, mice in the muffler,
an offering of bottle-caps and crushed beer cans
splayed out on the ground,
a radiant corona of monarchs,
emporers and swallowtails.
And here, in the middle
of a dried-up river bed,
beneath an over-hanging tree
(and its lone bird’s nest), a rowboat rests
on its meandering path through time,
half-steeped in the cracked and sun-baked mud;
a cluster of cattails stabbing up
through the floorboards, out into the world.
And here, in an old cigar box,
found in the cellar Of an abandoned farm-house-
1 Zippo lighter (with Union Pacific logo),
1 cracked compass, 1 Swiss Army Knife,
2 carved wooden dolls ( a boy and a girl),
1 skull ring, 5 smoke bombs, 3 pocket watches
and a pack of (marked) playing cards
with girls on the backs.
And here, just a few feet beneath
the foundation Of an old country church
(cut from sandstone, and, a little shale
and now nothing more than a stop-over for squatters);
the long-buried bones
of some pre-cursive cousin of the Blue whale,
like lost, forgotten beacons
still beeping out, across the compacted layers
of earth and time, to be received
by those who happen to sleep there
(from time to time),
their ancient dreams of the ocean.
-Jason Ryberg, 2004