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Tony Reevy

Poetry

 

Number 13 Dream

 

every night

I run down the tracks

past the reeking 

boney piles

along a river

rising over its banks

 

so humid 

the air is green

 

Thirteen Mine

is burning

 

coal-black smoke

licked by bright flames

boiling 

 

and I don’t want

to see

 

I don’t want to 

go back, Daddy,

I don’t want 

to go back



 

Jamestown Ruins

 

It’s cold, bitter cold

as Ian and I wander 

the grounds.

 

Low brick walls

all that remain

of these lost lives.

 

Hundreds gone

in the starving time—

 

and street women

shipped here in boatloads

as “wives.”

 

Be fruitful 

and multiply.

 

My son sees,

in mind’s eye

a cannon turned

on the church—

 

its tower the last

survivor. I tell

him of Bacon’s war.

 

And Ian says

he sees men, women

approaching us:

 

Striding ahead, but their feet

are not touching 

the ground.



 

This is hallowed ground.

Diamond Hill Cemetery, Berry Hill Plantation, near South Boston, Virginia

 

the sign

says—and 

 

Be respectful.

 

chiggers in the grass

short pants

 

should have

remembered

 

trees still

creak  groan

together

 

next time

bring a stone

 

talisman

cairn

 

like the turf-

ridden rocks

 

surrounding me

 

bench  sit

ask for guidance

 

hearing none

 

need to go


 

hurry back 

onto the path

a woman walking asks  

 

Where did you

come from?



 

The Second Horseman

 

That hammer-rush-crash—

a rider,

the second to pass,

galloping our night streets.

 

No full moon lights 

him, but his eyes glow

red in dust-dark.

 

The horse’s steel hooves

strike sparks

on coal-colored asphalt,

each glim

falling earthward

and melting

a spot in the road.



 

West Point on the Eno

April 2020

 

Walking this path 

for the first time,

noticing the sharp-cut

edges. An old road

to a ford or a  mill.

 

Moving aside 

for a couple—

he’s black, she’s white—

walking, like me, 

without children.

 

Mangum’s studio,

where he took secret

photos of women—

race didn’t matter 

there, all were equal

as he used them—

is half a mile away.

 

The past here 

is like a page turning,

or more like a page

burning inward

from the edges, 

with an acrid, dense

fume.



 

No Beat Surrender

r i p Angie Barbara

 

I saw My Fellow Americans

broken by Chinese plague,

walking mean streets

of burning cities.

 

Stepping on, not over,

the broken glass

of America’s Kristallnacht.

 

I saw patients laid out,

anesthetized on the table,

gasping for breath,

or breathing by machine

with mechanical shudders.

 

And the best ones

hold back from the truth

   nonpartisan, bipartisan, objective,

while kids with AK-47s

march in unison

to wipe our country’s

clock.

 

All work and no play

makes Donny a dull boy.

All work and no play

makes Donny a dull boy.

 

And the new Beats

are too beat 

to beat the fascist machine.

 

And our neighbors hear

B L M—and think

it’s about the Bureau 

keeping them from grazing

their cattle on fed land

unless they pay 

fifty cents a head.

 

It’s highway robbery—

the government should keep

its hands off my land,

and my Medicare.

 

Round and round

on a carousel

at eleven-fifty nine

on the doomsday clock

while dying ones 

slough off 

onto carny dirt.

 

Then, at home 

the eviction, foreclosure notice

duck-taped to the door,

the people inside 

throwing stuff in trash bags

while the Deputy waits.

 

This is Twilight

Oh! beautiful, for specious

fine particulate clouds

of my

           your

                    their

                              our 

                                     town.

 


 

Tony Reevy has more than one hundred-fifty publications including poems in Asheville Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Earth’s Daughters, Now & Then, Off the Coast, Out of Line, Pembroke Magazine, The Kerf, other journals, eleven anthologies and four chapbooks: Green Cove Stop, Magdalena, Lightning in Wartime and In Mountain Lion Country. His full books of poetry, Old North, Passage and Socorro, were released by Iris Press. His works also include non-fiction articles, short stories, and four non-fiction books, including O. Winston Link: Life Along the Line, The Railroad Photography of Jack Delano, and The Railroad Photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Bienvenue au Danse, Tony.