by Doug Bolling

         Terret 9

The spillage of it
old news creeping, creeping.

The cat face of time,
the hours before,

A hundred sermons
bundled, put to rest
behind the fridge.

You go it alone,
sojourner on a mission
toward shadowland.

You take of the Gouda,
the wine red seas
of this bistro.

Think ocean in its
overcoat of folds,
mouth of fin & plastic.

This poem will not
deny the tides.

This poem will not
remove the dust

behind the mirrors
where the shadows live.

      Terret 20

0ld men at chess
a clock dies &
the skillet brims.

Tomorrow is somewhere
out heading west
by north.

We count the sheaves,
blood in the furrows,
a dozen sows enroute
to doom
& the long sleep.

What room for lovers here
where the budded rose
turns old & mean

thorns at the ready,
even laughter no
longer innocent.

And old men at chess
dreaming of Plato’s cave,
how the shadows
weave & slide                                                                                          

calling out for the
sun to stay away.

         Going, Gone

                _________ Je est un autre, Rimbaud

They’re paging me at the palace
of leftovers,

long corridors of discarded

The antique furniture of
minds wrapped in
nylon, the texts

I walk the streets of Paris
invisible to all,
have a chai at the

The years go by.
The ones wherein
I chased myself
through one
persona after

sometimes bouyant
other times soul sad
garbed in rusty
nouns & dull verbs

0 Gertrude Stein where
are you when I need

Where the silences
below the grammar

It rains and the flesh
of me says fool
drop your clothes &
begin a career of
some satisfying
emptying then

hot soup &
the pages of
your diary
ripped &

all being well,

         Homeland Tunes

They gather the corn & bean.
Clouds drop closer telling
of almost rain, a sweetness
all lovers believe.

A thousand  tractors
advance and retreat
in a perfect geometry
of take and make.

There is something new
breaking apart the swath
of innocence.
The interstate straight
as iron, unforgiving
as a Goya etching.

The crops will move.
Ethanol will sing of
the wonders of
liquid grain                
ready for

Bend near this earth
and you will hear them,
the dead in their
space suits
bible armed
restless for
the next leg.

At the corner bar
all is well.
Words lift from
the Bud Light
the Cours.
The laughter measures
the histories of
those who win,
lose, win again.

Nighttime will come.
It will wear no clothes
and bathe in a long
dark silence.

           Terret 15

Sleek wings of the sea gulls.
Wind rising.
The texts of a lifetime
on hold.

How far to the final buoy.
Tidal music of smash
and surge.
Memories flare
& die.

0nly yesterday the dead
arrived from gray rage
of ocean.
A once person now
stiff, prone,

They build a fire 
on the sand warp.
They begin the rites
of grief,

the lost ecstasy
of a lover’s faith.

About the Author:

Doug Bolling

Doug Bolling’s poems have appeared in Posit, BlazeVOX, ShufPoetry, Water-Stone Review, Isthmus, The Missing Slate (With interview) and Juked among others. He has received Best of the Net and Pushcart nominations and several Awards. He currently lives in the greater Chicago area.