Paul Buchheit is an author of books, poems, progressive essays, and
scientific journal articles. He recently completed his first historical novel,
1871: Rivers on Fire.
Rape of the Land
In bloody ripple of a scowling dawn
awaits the coveter of nectars plucked
from rosy bosoms of the woebegone
disciples of the land, who now construct
their brittle bastions as the being stirs,
and bulging fields explode in tapestries
of harvest ambers, and the overtures
of sweet hosannas rise on scented breeze.
And soon the lustful minotaur appears,
attired in swagger and the shroud of night,
and with the flair of knaves and profiteers
he smoothly strokes his swollen appetite
on silver sails to shores of Sybaris,
while those divested ponder the abyss.
Fleeting Moment of Peace
I'm swathed in velvet silence, silken, smooth,
with silver rippled monograms of dawn
amidst the pine, where breezes poised to soothe
me with a lover's secrets are withdrawn
by jealous deities who choose to press
against my ears the hum of centuries
of woodland meditations. But they bless
me with this stillness, with the panoplies
of spellbound apparitions in the leaves,
and colors rendered by an artist's brush,
and feathered coteries that one perceives
as whimsy till a strident cry and rush
of wings reveals their moment of caprice
to be the shattered fragments of my peace.
A monolith, this stoic warrior,
his shield erect against the stinging sleet
that pours from apathy, a barrier
of battle-weary blurred and bittersweet
indignities that gird a brittle limb
in bloodied bandages amidst the stench
of violated humanness. A hymn
ascends, exhorting cleansing rains to drench
his tattered coat of mail in quietude
and offerings of bread; and mission bells
invite the straggler to an interlude
of faith to rearrange his private hells.
His saviors mouth a virtuous refrain
for resurrecting elements profane.