#Mountains: Fractured Lullaby in a Zinke Landscape by J.P. Dancing Bear

iatm_2_3_2_by_frogstar_23-dcafugo.png 
"Did I mention I'm a geologist?"  --often told lie by Ryan Zinke*
  
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and wonder,
What could that be put to use for?
Who doesn't look        where the ancestors are buried,
and wonder    what their time would be like
stuffed                        full of chemicals?.
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and think,
How can I break that down for its minerals?
Why wouldn't the spirits        in the water, rocks,
and trees, not want     to be free         of their bonds
and      their    children?
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain     and ponder,
Where did all this natural resource come from?
Is the spirit energy     trapped in the rocks               not happy
in its home?    Who says, Granite,    Shale,             Gold,               Ore,
Uranium,        and thinks       themselves      as liberator or hero?
 
Who doesn't look at the mountain                 and ask,
Could I own this mountain    or sell it?
All the spirits              and ancestors are                   thinking
About the government           word,                                       relocation,
And how          much more     the heart                                                can break.

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

Painting by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

 

*Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has a B.S. (couldn’t resist) in Geology but has never worked in the field.

#Immigration: Oracle of Witch Hunts by J. P. Dancing Bear

Certainly flashlights were burning
into the darkness.
There were whispers,
rumors and lies told—worse, believed!

And the sound of doors
cracking off their frames.

A hive waking—
misdirected, angry, attacking
the shadowed

under the claxons,
under the sirens.
Through the slits of curtains
we saw
people herded into vans,
people cuffed and led away,
people penned,
people executed by revoked asylum.

We saw people treated
as the supernatural beings
rising up from hell.

We saw red light bleed
out over panicked eyes.

The boss of uniforms
said it was him
who was being hunted

but he was doing what all
predators do,
camouflaged and preying

on the hidden helpless
praying
in the shadows.

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

Photograph by U.S. Department of Immigration Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security).

Oracle’s End by J.P. Dancing Bear

Edvard Munch, At the Roulette Table in Monte Carlo, 1892.

Oracle’s End

Truth, like love, has no winners.

This is why you never see
Casandra at the crap tables
calling out for snake eyes.
The old witches gathered around
the roulette table, their one eye,
bouncing and knocking into one slot
after another, as the wheel slows,
as fate is known.

No, Nostradamus did not catch a ship
to America, never opened a book shop
right off of Main Street. No kids
to legacy. No fortune in untold tales.

And even though there a jail cells,
there’s caldron with bones
that roil and roll from the trick of heroes,
even when the random bullet leaves its war
and finds a collateral skull,

truth, like love, has no losers.

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

The Oracle of Warranties by J.P. Dancing Bear

The Oracle of Warranties
“Duh! Winning!” — Charlie Sheen

Everyone will tell you to take responsibility

for your actions

and your inactions

but I’ve seen what happens

the punishments and sentences

who does the right thing?

In baseball the saying goes: “if you’re not cheating

you’re not trying hard enough.”

Why don’t we live like utility players?

Why not cut-up and dishonor the contracts

of society?

Like here there are a lot of killers,

we have a lot of killer—

we are like a nation of killers.

You think we’re so innocent?

They came to me with illegal information

—who wouldn’t use this?

What am I a Boy Scout?

No. I hire boy scouts to make me look good.

I told you everything

you ever wanted to hear—

sold it to you buyer beware.

So don’t come back now

crying about the fake warranty.

I could see all of you coming!

I closed up shop,

I moved beyond the border wall

to state with no extradition

and the loveliest nesting dolls

—you might care to look me up—

we could make a deal!

I know people

who know people.

 

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

Oracle of Confederate Statues by J.P. Dancing Bear

Oracle of Confederate Statues

1.
To see the future the eye must burn
must experience its mass in two places
must cross dimensions

must love the flame

No one chooses to see
but not see

no one looks fondly upon the future

2.
What’s the use in such knowledge

we have a firm grasp
on myths like old blankets
we wrap ourselves in comfort

let’s not read inscriptions
not tonight by the fires
you’ve carelessly lit

here are the great surrenderers
mounted and pointing stoically
into a battle centuries gone

here once were cannons
and you may still hear the echoes
of the thread-bare and torn dead

and where it should have ended
it did not

These monuments
buried in Ozymandian sand
inscriptions worn
the tired faces warn
men from their hatreds

leave them earthed
and forgotten

now that the world is a better place

3.
you come to me not to see
that which is to come

but here you are
waxing nostalgic over the past

not even your own
but people who died
so long ago their very definition
of human (all humans) should be so different

from your own

4.
Now you fight to continue
to ignore the future
of sand slipping through

whispering truth
does not require your belief
to exist

still, I must open my eyes to this future

whenever yours are closed

 

 

J. P. Dancing Bear is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.

 

 

From the Editor: Welcome to Califragile‘s Featured Poet for October, J.P. Dancing Bear! Watch for poems from his Oracle series on Mondays and visit Verse Daily!