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L. Ward Abel, three poems

Tranquility Base

It was July 1969 down on Lake Sinclair.

Outside was a night as loud as Mombasa.

Inside the astronauts came down a blurry

black and white ladder, likewise the old TV.

My crewcut years then at ten were just

a clutching of books near two-hundred

year old nesting-oaks. I lurked at the edge

of reddish water and miles-dark hardwood

under yin/yang skies. Later in that cabin

I tried to sleep, maybe channel astronaut

dreams but settled on the hawk

dreaming floodlit over the boathouse,

her shadow pouring out to find me.


Small green rooms. Large space. The doorknobs are no

match for an ocean twenty miles west of this old river-house.

It sits half a block off the channel and feels the pull from

the only moon we’ve ever known. In the morning she

finds her voice again in sweet-water-springs now black

with buried canopy. Only a few walls of the Tamiami

persuasion survive along old forty-one where even rust

goes home. But from a thousand hinges, tacks and rubble

of a pulled-down garage long gone on the property line

comes a bloom.

Mornings at My Angkor Wat

Few places won’t yield to sky.

But these wide massive stands

confront almost any godhead.

The interior has little solid floor

unless you count canopies

given way to great leas.

Sometimes a dry-season patch

can expose a thirty-mile view.

Still, what hard vantage

the night gives. Even out here a glow.

I’d like to cut the feed. To shut down

the juice. And just be.

Holed up for good, mornings

at my Angkor Wat would make

a home here along the seldom roads

where I’d charge for admission to myself

so I can pay me back all the things

I’ve lost.


L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online including The Reader, Snow Jewel, Indian Review, Versal (Two), Yale Angler's Journal, Istanbul Review, Ha!Art, and others, and is the author of nine chapbooks and one full collection of poetry, including Peach Box and Verge (Little Poem Press, 2003), Jonesing For Byzantium (UKA Press, 2006), The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town Gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017)

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