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Editor's Note



Three Poems

by George Moore

The Language of Heaven 
Like rich wheat in western fields before a tornado mowing
the impossible seeds into a fury of absolute airlessness,
movement all in destruction and brilliance, carrying the day
into its death at noon, clouds as curious as horses at barbwire
approaching the wind with suspicion and gravity, with care
separated from all other concerns but this, ripeness, absence,
a falling into that same day, without settling, without sight,
only the dust rolling itself into devils of wane belief,
waiting the snap of the trees where there are trees
and the particled stillness after.
A crowd watches in desperation as the house rises up
into the mouth of the wind, not wind but a wild screaming
tongue of black sky, anchored to each other as birds circle
and are fed up into the stream of fingers at mad vibrato,
and I stand there only among dead bits of barn and corrugated tin,
dazed by the sudden fleshiness of my own weak tentacle of earth,
ships of open land erupting into flames of dark air, ears
pinned to the pressure of loves torn through by a scratch
of nature, butterflies and bees in speckled patterns
on the pavement at my feet.
You were among the remnants of timber, the pots and rags,
guts of wood and fragmented enamel, singing the death song
of some last bird, hawk, jay, transformed by the resulting fires
into a sacrifice, the aftermath of all we ever thought to have
twisted like nervous stalks, stripped clean like our commitment
to that farm, its ears shattered and bled rich as disappearing
dressings of soil, the animals anchored finally in fear in their
last steps, sleeping beneath the weight of counties, unreachable
with your hair in mimic of the seconds allotted for memory, 
and no one to recover from the sickness of first calm.

Echo Cliffs
Marble Canyon on the Paria Plateau,
the Navajo sell their silver overlooking
the great fall.  The red desert of the Colorado
at Lee's Ferry and Navajo Bridge.
True mongers come from the other side
of the sun, where water is sacred
even when the river gives up only mud.
Hot shot down the canyon wall and across.
The descend Dantean for the literati
but close and dry for the native hawks
that spur a failing glottophagy. A hunger
to devour all this landscape's language.
The harsh reality at this time of year
and weather.  But then the highway
makes it aimless, and orange moving
toward magenta.  The traders catch a glint
as silver says more than a thousand
storms, a mirroring of thirsty distances
when we come back to cultivated sands
surrounded with living echoes.

For La Beata de Piedrahita

there was a moment when she knew the irons of the Inquisition
might reach her.  There was the darkness these men perpetuated,
she thought, and now I shall succumb.  But among her patrons
and believers, she prized the fearful and a few with power
enough to keep her heresy from public eyes
and to save her from the Tombs.  But few knew
she'd spoken with the Virgin, and this was enough, she felt,
to secure her place wherever they might send her.
In Salamanca, in the household of her father,
who left each morning in his bondage to the builders,
labored for the Lord, in his way, by carrying stone
for the Church, she would wake to the suddenness of twilight
and not know if it were day at all, but perhaps some
filtered moment of her own forthcoming.  Still as
the small house was with her father gone,
it was a sentence she knew she must live with.
She felt the worlds rub close together and nothing
more for this one could be done.
It was not the forms of darkness, the alumbrados
and their Gnostic sources, but those others, hidden
for what must have seemed forever, who found
in her voice the bridge to God’s syllables, a light of itself
splendiferous, congealing.  She held council with the Lord
they told their judges, and so would know the ends of these inquiries
into the true faith.  She would have given herself up
to whatever forces, for they were small, and limited to
the temporal.  While others burned, and few, at the instant
of the fire, would say more than that they corresponded,
she reached for the light ambered in the flames.

Copyright 2010, George Moore. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

George Moore has published poems with The Atlantic, Poetry, The Colorado Review, North American Review, Orion, The Queen's Quarterly, Dublin Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, and elsewhere.  Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize last year, and twice for "Best of the Web," he has also been nominated this year for the Rhysling Poetry Award. His most recent collections include an e-book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Pulpbits 2007) and Headhunting (Mellen, 2002).  He has been a finalist for The National Poetry Series, The Richard Synder Memorial Prize, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and The Anhinga Poetry Prize.  He teaches literature and writing with the University of Colorado, Boulder.