Matthew Walz: Traveling Home Poetry

The Last Remaining Ghost

The last remaining ghost

In a world bald and gone wrong,

For no one wants to stay,

And no one wants to play

With all the children snug in the night,

While their parents cap the evening

And peacefully drift toward the dark.

No one is judging them,

Everyone is judging them,

They can’t be themselves with the ghost in the room.

“Stop staring,”

“I heard a sound,”

Litter lines the cracks in the floors,

The wood creaks and squeals.

Snug in their beds they look to the north,

The winter breeze shreds their fleece.

But children, don’t be scared;

There is no monster in your closet,

There is only the chill of the night,

But it cannot be seen,

Not by them or by him.



Drop the anchor on the shore,

For we shall leave here nevermore;

It’s paradise that’s in store.

The trees bloom fruit tender and sweet,

As all the life we generally meet;

To awaken the seed that’s what’s in store,

For we shall leave here nevermore.



Obscenity twists the knife in the heart of the town,

Day by day they go around falsely amused.

Dubbing the houses and roadways to the stillness of sound,

Living a life of stone.

The day Nick Adams fell into the lake,

Fundamentality went with him.

The day Nick Adams was burned at the stake,

Obscenity lifted the veil.

Thunder struck the tip of the church’s cross,

Through mud and dirt and spirit.

Burning a piece of nothing-a-loss,

A crack in the stone was found.

Foaming crowds in the night lit scene,

Their spirits lifted and smiles cracked.

The harmony changed from silence to obscene,

The falsely amused no longer false.


The Eye is a’ Coming to Seize You Again

He crept the morning stairs,

Each creak weeps frightful sighs.

Afraid of gathering glairs,

With engraved hatred in both eyes.

A shiver crept down his spine,

To awake and douse in history.

The cries of innocents unknown,

A bleak truth pawn to misery.

His conscience sighs for a goal,

He sees the withering of the mass.

Another mode of stiff control,

No spirits grave for none shall pass.

A city of wine and gold now bust,

A land now barren, lost, and slain.

One man, one power, now who to trust,

As the eye is a’ coming to seize you again.

All trampled and torn his body molds,

Contorted as each of the worlds go.

Fewer are left the further it unfolds,

What shall be done my companion, my bro?

On this day he sees this worldly truth,

But hides the real from the guilt and the shame,

The dead in the world corrupting the youth,

With powerful hands our masters to blame.

Aran Donovan: Poems

Owl Dad Tells a Dragon

no you may not come in

there is still one left

king, he bars the doors


against the night

guards still on either side

keep watch and look


if a moon too appears

see their spears in its light

but shields to cover heart


this you need always

he says in closing

the book, turns lights


out overhead

and down the dark night

dreaming she lay safe


outside pining in the wind

a claw and cold breath

in the branches caught


and choking at what throat

the night has yelling

do not let it in, do not let it in


Alfred Stieglitz Shoots the Clouds

I struck at it for years. Hands raised,


I hollowed out the form,

the photograph, took all


reference away: no tree branch,

no birds frozen

in the scraping stroke of a wing,


nothing to say here or when.

But the tools weren’t right. The empty blue,


emulsified, was too pale, too light

to hold this weight. Clouds

I set into it burst and sank.


Until I felled it, found

the solution that turned the bright day dark.


Emotion without scale or form,

an absence trapped


between paper and glass,

they hang on walls as testament:


I stood alone and looking up

put words into the mouth

of the terrible, of the speechless sky.


When I Say Romance

When I say romance, I do not mean romance, not

at least, as you intend, do not mean

the quilled yellow throats of songbirds,

their fat, banded wings and black eyes, the notes

of their song. When I say love, understand

I mean the word far or along, see

the streets of Venice, its lagoon, the flat stones

over the water making a way.


So we strike and miss: shoot darts whose steel tips

kiss at their soft target. Words

that would promise or presage but cannot hit

their mark, our wit. I listen for you but it is an arrow

dropping to earth, a pipe of bone, the crow’s voice

clicking like cold stones, that I hear.


Terremoto de Valdivia, 1960

I held my mother’s hand as we walked towards the bright

display case, stacked with croissants, tiny cookies,


its tall cakes frilled like Easter dresses, tarts tucked

with dark berries, each facet of the raspberry gleaming.


Cautioned not to touch, I waited. She went to the counter

for my father’s cake, laughed with the shop girl


who folded its cardboard carry-out box.

Red body of it startling under pale frosting, his favorite.


Mine, the light meringue, its egg whites whisked to peaks,

baked at a low heat until dry and sweet, nearly nothing.


Pastel, they sat in ordered rows. I leaned

towards them, my greedy palm printing the glass.


I can still hear the patterned floor as it split,

see the flat shelves, so cared for and so careful, unsettled now and shifting.


How the great case faltered, its four feet unsteady,

the cakes tilting forward, their sugared skins smearing


its clear window with pink roses, birthday wishes.

Thinking first, It is my fault. Then, I am falling.


How to feed them by hand

Begin slowly. Arrive in the early hours when,

in the near light, everything is yet possible.

Let them see you. Then leave.

The next day, near dawn, stand by the feeder,

hold yourself still. Show yourself part

of that scenery and fade. Later and again,

offer only your hand, the striped seeds

in your palm, hot from a wool glove.

They are hungry, will take what

you give. You have wondered, have watched,

heard through the glass, their din-to have them close

and delicate, their pronged feet round

a finger, blunt beaks at your skin:

is it like flight, their rush of blood?

Bright burgundy brushes past, just beyond you.

Francis Raven: Poems


Remember the power of a single nail to talk to an obstinate wall.

Men act as a safety issue.

He has worked under the cheek.

Turn and eat!  Turn and shout!

But do not worry, do not worry: the spirits of the community are trying to protect his fingers.

They learn that the secrets of the true diameter cannot be broken.

But your body is full wrath.

We will help you force a stubborn, but spiritual, oak.

In the study you can hear my friend.

But the dictator will eventually be lost.

Please dare to try to learn your enemy.

I caught a heavy cold.

If the sink was buried in a damaged and repellent beard.

We are all paid within inches of hearing of prisoners in winter.

Strike!  Strike!  Drive from the bees.

He was found dead of smoke.

The victim is not your problem, large or small.

The word most often heard words:

Onions, fish, the first question, why you did not hear me complain.


As first waves crash over first faces

We realize the desk’s purpose has been compromised

By our growth.  You are more than you were.

We’re looking for the right translation, but you have to turn around.

It’s the question of whether it just keeps extending in space

Or stops because you stop.  But its lack of life

Offers life to another in the future

(he can keep calling that stone my stone) if you get my meaning.

We must conceive it thusly, because to do otherwise

Would be to deny the orchestra its due (they take an obligatory bow)

And it will surely be remembered that

Not a few men have been killed by trumpets to the head.

I’m watching the spray.

I’ve thought about what hat you will wear.

It’s the only thing on my mind.

You wake, at first, in the clothes of ideas

And settle finally, fitfully, into

The rushing of traffic on early rain.

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