Numbers feel like a desert
I’ve never visited. I’m probably missing
some gorgeous night-blooming cacti.
I doubt I’ll ever venture there. I have
movies, books, and music. In high school
I entered a dark room called algebra.
When I looked for the light switch,
I was told to sit down. Obedient, I sat.

A scary but kind spider crawled out
from an equals sign. We talked about
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane.
My teacher said I should listen harder.
He meant to him. I needed solving.
My pencil had no eraser.


I can be maudlin, full of self-pity,
and magnificent at the same time too.
Watch me climb a staircase and put
myself to bed having said that we’re all
bees making honey and making stings.
In my domino dreams, I fall
and fall, crushed before I awaken.
In the morning I’m Sisyphus

pushing each up a hill. My day
begins with a starchy old sun kicking
my curtains. I tell it to go away,
but soon light bathes me. I’m on
a stage. Performing. My bones are keys.
They turn many locks in my mind.


I’m not alone. Ferns grab my legs
as I walk to the lake. Trees descended
from those in The Wizard Of Oz grump
that I’ve come. Why not stay where
porches fill with drinkers, faces lit

by tiki torches? Books tell me that
in Nature I can find God tripping
over a root. Is that so?

The forest surprises,
like pitcher plants dissolving
bugs and lolling in water. Nature
has a mean temper. It’s not all
playful otters and pink ladyslippers.
I can get eaten, bones lost
to sphagnum moss. At night
I enjoy starlight on lapping waves,
listen for what rustles, and look
up to see what talons are reaching out.

Morning fogs in. I’ve made it
through the dark hours. They will
return. For now I walk
looking for a way out, not sure
that I’ll find it.

Kenneth Pobo is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections.  Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), and Uneven Steven (Assure Press). Opening is forthcoming from Rectos Y Versos Editions. Lavender Fire, Lavender Rose is forthcoming from Brick/House Books.