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The Earth Turned

The water was red with the blood of the sun

and the earth turned.

The creeping slate of evening sleep

Continued on its run.

The trail of blood remaining

snaked through island passages

Then the black of lack of consciousness


And the earth slept.

Woman With a Golden Box

There is a golden box, carried
in the arms of a dark haired woman.

This is a bridge
to understanding.

There on your hill
while watching a white sail

or the evening stars,
you will see a blurring

to the shape of them
and know
that she has passed.

Like Ice on Porcelain

I was moved to confusion

by the rapid motion of people

on the sidewalks

I closed the open window

then allowed ice water

to run down my chest

like ice on porcelain.

This night I will wait for a visitor

who will not come

who will say they were delayed

by the weather

or a death in the family, and

I will be glad that I had a friend at least


People in odd clothes will appear

at my door

while I am in the shower

I will answer their calls naked

and a lady will tell me my chest

looks like porcelain

and ice.

This indecent procession of the dead

does not have to arrive by the front door

but does so to honor me

and I have asked why honor me

but they only say in that quiet way they have

"Go to bed now".

The Singing

Inside the little clapboard church
it must have been close to a hundred degrees.
There was not yet a full choir seated, but
those that were there were swaying
from foot to foot with the rhythm
that was internal, that was history.
Behind the silence I could hear
the humming of those around me,
the swish of stiff dresses
as women walked down the aisle to the choir,
and the constant movement of hand-held fans
like a host of butterflies opening and closing.
The musician, an old black man
with a stark white turban,
crossed to the wounded upright, sat down,
and without a sheet of music
stabbed the ivories like he was infusing notes
into a dormant object. His fingers
were weapons of music.
When he touched the keys
the room became electric.
You could hear the intake of air by all those
in the hard wooden pews; preparing, praying
for the strength to last the night.
The first note was magic, but when the choir
bellowed out its voice to the spiritual
hymn "Go Down Moses" the spirit
reached down into me as well.
The essence had been poured down and out
of the mouths of the choir and onto the people
in this old church, and they couldn't sit down
they couldn't stand up, they swayed where they stood,
they shouted to Jesus while they moved,
they went into a trance, falling out,
and had to be carried from the church.
At the end of the evening, the choir sang
quietly, and I could hear
the sobs, I could hear the joy expressed
by the congregation: amen glory to god hallelujah
Jesus is his name, until the pianist stopped, got up
and went to the choir and embraced each one.
Then the little church was empty.


Email me at : wdritch@hotmail.com