"Even my shadows are wooly / but only wind bends me": Four poems by Charles Wyatt that you shouldn't miss

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"Even my shadows are wooly / but only wind bends me": Four poems by Charles Wyatt that you shouldn't miss

Poetry by Charles Wyatt

Creeping Woodsorrel


Prostrate creeping perennial
from a slender taproot there
against the earth heart-shaped
clovers prone to night drooping

As rain sees the lake all spiked
so we the under burden, taps
and spreadings, feel upward
their slow lightings and departure

Our own song and yellow
five-petalled flower
seed spouting explosively
siege of the rough and reddish


Annual Pricklepoppy


There is more to say
than to see
Though showy
is for bees
alligator thorns
under a white bonnet
We see of course
among all the deep
rooted the yellow sap
something in the stance
that speaks
roadside thistle
Stickleback seeds
a whole gesture
the looping branches
something like
What are you
do you see these
What are you
looking at
These thorns
alligator grinned
here in a dry place
We are both irritable
and abundant


Wooly Plantain


Even my shadows are wooly
but only wind bends me

said the air to the earth
said the earth to shadow

We in the sandy abused slopes
have no say we merely hold

flowers whitish in spikes
about as long as this poem

covered with hairs bending
standing a wooly rhythm

If a cloud passes over
wooly plantain knows

a stack of bees head-standing
a letter in some far language


Jointed Goat Grass


A winter annual
consisting of
a host of stems

or you might say tilers
Glumes several ribbed
with a keel on one side

extending into
a single awn or beard
15 to 30 inches tall

found mostly in
wheat fields

against the sky
where the air
has been disturbed

Next to wheat tassels
it appears stick-like

save the glumes
those roadside


Charles Wyatt is the author of two collections of short fiction, a novella, and two poetry collections. A third fiction collection, Houses, is forthcoming from Hidden River Arts.  He lives in Nashville, TN where he was principal flutist of the Nashville Symphony for 25 years.

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