A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 3, September 2019

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Jonathan Humphrey
Brentwood, Tennessee, USA

A Green Mandala of the Midwest

The million-mile tail of a green comet points back at the field of a thousand green fireflies. Now the deer, studded with a hundred seed-sized candles, flicker green. Or in crushing a firefly under-hoof, streak green while leaping limestone fences caked in dozens of green lichens. Though dark, the night remains green. Though troubled, the mind remains green. I’m brewing sencha. You’re slicing cucumbers. The weather radar is a handful of green towns. Earlier today a hawk crashed in windswept kudzu. Given time, it will re-emerge as kudzu, and swallow cities whole. A leaf-winged hawk swallowing, say, Cincinnati, before sizing up Chicago, staring down New York. Is it so much, after all, to pray green prayers? To sing green hymns? Be still. We always knew this poem would end in green skyscrapers pointing up at a comet’s green tail.

the moth can’t quit
its soft green glow

Note: “the moth can’t quit” originally appeared in Frogpond 42.2 Spring/Summer 2019.