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Billy Marshall Stoneking
Sydney AUS/ Born USA
Avoiding Darkness 
                                                                      for Christina Conrad

There  is  a  desert  in  every  heart

which  cannot  be  crossed

for  fear  there  is  no  end

No  shade    No  resting  place

Striving  to  avoid  darkness

I  make  a  slave-dance  of

freedom-toeing  the  air  midst  angels

(Is  that  laughter  in  their  wings,

or  merely  a  semblance  of  weeping?)

I  stumble  before  Deaths  fiddle

How  many  hands  have  traced

the  face  of  treachery,


tangled  in  a  coverlet  of  night?

Each  Year,  the  dead  draw  nearer,

I  am  known  to  those  who  have  gone  before:

surely,  those  who  follow  will  not  be  strangers

The  nudge  of  invisibility

breeds  small  comfort  in  the  idleness  of  years

I  camp  with  ghosts,

chant  endlessly  of  the  lost  -

an  ever-changing  vanishing  point

beyond  the  ceremony  of  hope

Caught  (a  found  poem)

Wellington ,  dec 10-

Police  here  are  seeking

a  person  who  placed

three  steel  spikes

pointing  upwards

on  the  judge's  chair

in  Wellington  supreme  court

when  Mr  Justice  O'Reagan

resumed  a  sitting  after  lunch
the  needles  pierced  him

but  did  not  cause  serious  injury

the  chair  was  later  checked  for  fingerprints

Dear Dad

hope this letter finds you and the family

in the very best of health as it leaves me the same

here in prison at Alice Springs,,

well dad would you bring me some money

because I need it real bad,,

I've got only a few weeks to go,,

I'll be out on the 6/10 this year,,

dad if you won't bring me some money

you won't ever see me again

I am going to stay in another place,,

so please dad send some money o.k

then I'll come back

soon as you send me some money

please dad send me some,,

I'll be back soon in a taxi,,

dad I told you to bring me some money for me,,

that was when you visited

but I am still waiting for you to come back and

bring me some more money

if not I won't come back home true,,

well dad I've got nothing more to say

all I am hoping for is for money

and dad may god bless you and the family down there


Copyright Billy Marshall Stoneking 2001
published with poets permission
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