David Bond: "Catalpa"




Rickracked scraps of yellow ribbon

sacraments of the first Gulf War

flutter despairingly

from branches of a tumored tree


in my parents’ backyard.

Wheelworks of a jettisoned home

appliance rust silently in the oblique

soaking rain, rusting as do we all 


flickering in an ad hoc gasp of air

clinging tight to old photographs

as the earth devolves to dust.

Everyone’s gone to church this


morning to worship as human or

holy some random concretion

gouged out by the west wind.

We invent our own mythology


to live, even my friend who finds

soft grace behind an owl’s closed eyes.

This is a meditation for the warp

of water moving from one elemental


to another, for pawned wedding rings

and wilted temples; for acedia, and

my own baroque symbol of childhood

brown pod-knives pendant


leaves shaped like false green

passion, the panicles of white flowers

flashing and melting away, roots

quietly aborting any seed not its own.



David Bond, an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship winner in poetry in 2001 and 2005, has recently published work in Rhino, Big Muddy, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Cape Rock, as well as an anthology, Hurricane Blues. He’s been a reader and taught classes at the Nimrod/Hardman Awards Conference at the University of Tulsa, the Binghamton University Poetry Conference, and the Around the Coyote Fall Arts Festival in Chicago, among other venues.