Tonight the ballroom hovers reminiscences.
Black widows pardon love interests
and tailor them in bolts of silk.
Grandfather strokes toll, twelve times
wraps salvation hands around midnight.
The viola handsaws harmony
it’s maple still praising the breeze
daring the violin to spin Tupelo honey:
give it a whirl.
The mantle urn is empty:
ashes pirouette giggles through candelabra flickers
wispy gowns twirl to spinet rag
empty goblets phantom mortal feelings
latent toes tap patent leather to yellowed pine
ghosts waltz spent heartbeats into new souls.
Death comes a little down.
SAND CREEK MASSACRE
Blue-Sky Cloudmen dreamed brother wolf
danced like a ghost to willow songs
on forks between two rivers.
They gripped the flowing robes of God,
and ran to feel his pleasure. We stood
tall like “Mother Corn” in harvest
fields filled with pumpkins and beans:
ripened our faces with the juice
from wild plums. Vultures bleached
the bones of our enemies and the children
bathed in sweet streams, but owls
with greasy beaks came to spit darkness
into our council fires. They perched
on the sight of holy men seeking the ‘good
medicine.’ Our flutes breathed fever.
The people choked on white clay dust
and drowned in sand on the banks
of big-bellied water. We gazed
into the Spirit World through eyes
from behind a mask of death.
“Orator of the Plains”
He spoke a vision for the future
in the council of his people,
eloquently boasting warpath
and vengeance to conestogas raping
ancient beasts from the horizon.
He dipped the beak of his war axe
in the skull chalice of presumed
dominion; counting coup
throughout Rancheria, peeling
scalps to Mexico.
Kevin Heaton’s latest chapbook, “Kevin Heaton-Breaking Ground,” is at amazon.com. His work has appeared in: Elimae, Nibble, The Raleigh Review, Pure Francis, The Catalonian Review, and many others. He is listed as a notable poet at: KansasPoets.com