Three Poems

The Grind
To grind the blade or grind the meal—
which one earns a fulsome fill?
A blade slaked upon blooming blood
grows weeds and graves and cuts the bud,
whereas ground meal feeds the kneading need
of a family growing unto a breed.
A sickle may reap the crop from the fields,
but the millstone feeds the hand which wields,
and blade may cut the man who takes it
just as the meal forsakes the man who forsakes it,
unless, of course, the blade is ready to slay,
to steal what another has, to take away
both life and bounty, or simply enslave
to force others to feed another’s enclave;
yet, even then one must be aware
that poison is ground with greater care—
silent and patient, in among the meal
that feeds a man with a bladed will.

You are to me
as the nail is to the
lodged between my tread,
stabbing, stuck, stubborn
as I bleed air slowly
and deflate, minute by
through the wound dealt.
were you removed,
there would be nothing
to stopper the gaping hole
where your sharp toothed
buried itself,
bleeding me out
as I

He was a lumberjack with many friends
and saw them meet their untimely ends
from a single falling white pine tree
that struck each dead, instantly;
so he was careful, and always alert
to each tree he cut, hoping to avert
the same destiny throughout the coming years,
surviving many trees because of his fears,
but, in time, he found himself leaning low
like a tree whose trunk had suffered a blow
from a great blade, such as a pendulous swing,
and so his back was bent, like a broken thing
battered by the gales of the bleak North
which many cold Winters had issued forth,
and though no single tree crashed upon his head,
the weight of the many gradually crushed him dead.

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