Day by day the cracked earth stings,
lips chapped to the sun’s unslaked fiends;
step to step sounding the gray dawn,
circling furrows in a vicious crawl.
Eyes strain against the heat, the fake light
hovering in illusive trailing’s of a rich man’s life;
a semblance of paradise, not the grasping whirl,
a dust wall presaging terror in a knot of icy fire.
Red gasps at end of day, twilight’s reign
where two worlds shake the inlaid chest;
the silver on the winged cloud lies of change,
where only now the confused cry of a lone hawk fell.
He lays there listening, night’s changeling
rifting paradise of its last silences: a voice
breaks free in the emptiness: a drifter’s mirage,
oak-born owls swinging branch-wise against his mind.
©2021 S.C. HIckman