Thomas Walton

Planet of the Apes

 last night the rain fell

in heavy drops as we all stood

some friends and I and others

listening to the poets read

dark, angry musics

condemning the current

political situation

and what to them seemed

systemic, seemed

endemic to

the whole of Western Civilization at least

if not all of human civilization in general

life itself perhaps

succeeds on the backs 

of the vanquished, the weak or

simply unlucky

            think of new 

            peonies, their

            clenched hands

            stretching up

            to grasp what

            light they can

            each at the

            expense of

            the other

this morning the rain had stopped

the sky hadn’t exactly cleared

but everyone was gone

a few beer cans 

someone had tossed

into the laurel hedge

seemed the only proof

that we had lived 

at all


 Reading Roethke Where He Died

 the seascape 



and flooded my 

lungs and eyes

what a way 

to find Roethke

bloated on

gin rickeys and


floating in a

Bloedel pool

till a garden came

and filled with sand

what once was mere

music and