Jeff Luker. This is pretty much what I pictured when I wrote my last poem.

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Ghost Stories

Through the trees
They saw the spirits moving
Remembered tales they heard as children
Legends passed down from mother to daughter
Ghosts
Memories that would not die
Children taken by fevers
Wives taken by jealous husbands
Men taken by booze and knives

The fire became a deeper red
They saw the spirits moving

A brave one led them through the trees
To see if the tales were true
Ghosts
Rituals to resurrect memories
Incantations to horned gods
Slain sheep and goats and children

They left the light
Joined the shadows of the forest
To follow the spirits
Moving through the trees
Stumbled into moonlight
A pagan grove
Circle of stone and wood

And 30 wild horses
Moving through the trees
Like memories that would not die
Ghosts

They watched the horses grazing
Remembering tales they heard as children
Returned to the fire in silence
Carrying their ghosts

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Bones

Yesterday, I tried to help you find your bones
The structures that used to support you
Ribs like great girders that held you together
But all we found was dust

Now, you’re a jellyfish
Let’s float along and hope
No one notices

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Throwback

If I have my own
voice

it is less Jay-Z
more

William Carlos Williams-
slow,

metered lines set
plumb

But no one cares
about

stupid old wheel
barrows

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This is No Rose Garden

If this was a rose garden
One skinny flower
Would never be noticed

But in this yard
Crowded with brown grasses
Mushrooms and old stumps
Sand, gravel, rocks
And discarded cinder blocks

One dirt-covered poppy
Hot-pink and tattered
Can reduce me to tears.

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