Friday, October 14, 2011

Robber's Rest

Robber’s Rest

Into the scruboak woods
you drove us
down the vanishing ledge
cut into the side of the creekbank
along the red sandy rim
until the road began to narrow
and play out.

“Stop! Stop!” I yelled but you drove on,
till the truck slid down the hill on splayed
wheels, like a dog on ice whose legs
fly out from under it
down to the weedy bottom
as darkness fell on
no way back

You walked off, shadow long
over the sucking sand
to look for a place to fish
(because you don’t, among other
things, hunt any more;
when you came back from
Nam you said it was
the deer’s dead eye
made you put down the gun)

I wandered into the woods
hearing a singing
where no one was
came upon the outlaw hideout
abandoned, ramshackle
in the dusk, broken walls of
round pocked cauliflower teeth
glowing like white headstones
in the graveyard of love
where I finally found
a candle
and a bed.

September 2011

Image: Scruboaks at Sunset, by joy ann jones 5/26/2010


  1. A fantastic write! Loved especially the closing lines........

  2. nice....some really cool story telling intimate look at the man and what makes him tick or why and then to find home in a graveyard...growing up by one i feel at home there, but it feels more symbolic...and blows with a cold wind.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful! This so needs to be scenes from a movie. I would love it to be scenes from a book, most definitely, but is so visual that I choose the movie over the book in this case!

  4. There is slipping into something dark here that feels dangerous, but the poet has survived and even managed some rest. Funny, we were just talking about hunting last night, something I wouldn't be able to do, though I have no problem with those who do (my husband has, but doesn't now). Your image of the truck splaying is powerful. The last stanza is very effective with those cauliflower headstone teeth. Wonderful work!

  5. Such a fine, raw, real love song, finding things in blossom beyond what seems the end off the trail. It's a dangerous journey out there, and pockmarked with wounds and old wrongs, yet its exactly there -- in the "graveyard of love" - that the speaker finds all that's required, "a candle / and a bed." Like they say, things get so much better when we give up all hope ... Great to see a poem by you about exactly where you are, with the past truly behind, if only for this song ... Brendan

  6. A great short story and it appears somewhat turning into a dark side as it moves along. That adds to the mystery. Great offering Joy!


  7. Thanks all. This one is straight out of a dream.

    @Brian:I also grew up next door to a graveyard-- used to play in the alley and look through the fence at the only place in miles without a building on it. My grandparents always said that it wasn't a bad deal,--the neighbors were quiet.

    @Ruth: Thank you. I had this dream a month ago and scribbled it down, thought it fit the ongoing Halloween poem fest. That image you mention was very surreal in the dream, don't know if I have done it justice. Everyone hunts here, (except my husband) but like you, I couldn't.

    @B: Yes, when you finally feel at home in the haunted house, the ghosts turn out to be shadows and sheets on the furniture. Most of the time.

  8. Dear Hedge: I wanted to move into a house that had a graveyard next door. When I examined the basement i swear I saw bones coming out of the earthen walls. It could happen!
    "pocked cauliflower teeth"
    great great imagery! Chiccoreal

  9. I agree with Lydia. And oh, how this twists something deep within.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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