Norm Sibum

Three Poems

The Trees in a Night of Cicada Song

The trees in a night of cicada song
Are witnesses to our thoughts and acts, their mind-reading quiet a choir
To various probabilities, or that the king must die and the virgin suspect
Hades is her lord and master when he’s not
A stand-up comic half-man, half-horse, assault on the brain
                                                                     or else a cheap laugh.
Autumn a state of mind so far, nothing more, Venus sets with the sun.
Voices in a rat-hole palace, like scree crashing down a mountain, spill through a window
Into my old landlady’s yard below (it once was hers
As she’s gone now, her end of life so much bird-twitter
And a silence as vast as failure). The seventh can of beer sacramental,
Smacking, as only a can of beer can smack,
Of divinely foul language beneath seven holy-roller suns
And seven holy-roller moons, a juggler’s sacred spheres,
And here’s how it is: one is wise with wisdom come by the hard way,
Which is to say, one knows nothing, one is a dope, and besides,
One can’t score off the break at every rack. So yells a drunken honey
At her honey, and he lets her have her triumph, what the hell,
Because, as ever, he’s got bigger fish to fry –
                            that social services interview.
And somewhere far distant, a drone beetling
Across the heavens, desert compound the target, target acquired,
Caps off a think-tank’s religious conviction
Or else a flow-chart’s data points, El Presidente solidifying the base,
Up to his neck in deceit, echoes in every cicada-hum steeped
With judgment we’ll never see coming
Though our names are written on it,
There on the screen or there in the smoke
Of the incense, there in the smirks of the saints.


Comments are closed.