Friday, December 02, 2011

New Poetry by Howie Good


1 Bull Run

Everything you do
with a horse,
Buck says in the movie,
is a dance.

Think of horses
with blood streaming
from their nostrils

lying on the ground
hitched to artillery guns,

the sad wind blowing
on a city afternoon.

2 Fort Donaldson

General Grant stands
knee-deep in blue grass.
Cows disturb his sleep
with what may be a smile.
There’s a haze between him
and the rest of the world.
You’re right, he likes to say,
if you think you are.
He entertains the troops
in camp with shadow puppets
that otherwise reside
in the cracks and crevices.

3 Shiloh (Day 1)

The kinds of books I write
aren’t the kinds of books
I like to read, carts loaded
with the groaning wounded.
Tonight we’ll water our horses
in the Tennessee River.
The stars will be hard to see.

4 Shiloh (Day 2)

First light lost its hat
in the sudden start.
No one stopped
to pick it up,
the sun like a pond

turning red
from the blood
of the men killed
and wounded
around it.

- Howie Good 2011

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing.

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