Atlantis Without Birds
Marble women in gardens
used to reach into the sky
and gather birds by the armful.
Raindrops brought them
down in scores to swallow
worms they turned into wingbeats.
You could set aside a cut
of hot bread for a moment,
and it would end up scenting
the highest branches.
Wind gusting in their blood
must have told the birds to flee.
At about this time every evening,
they’d glide into the trees
like night air filling your lungs.
The Moon From Atlantis
The moon is what’s hauling
the sea over the land
according to our scientists.
For years I’ve watched the same moon
heave itself over the mountains.
I’ve seen flat leaves on cornstalks
and even the arc of a leaping dolphin
black against it.
I’ve held it in palmfuls
of shining wet sand.
Under the moon’s soft light, I’ve buried
my head in my hands
and rubbed the lines from my face.
Tonight so full the sky creaks,
the moon lumbers through the trees,
breaking off the branches.
The Day the Ships Left
as the others left,
the horizon slowly
eat their sails.
They saw it swallow
David Henson and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years and now reside in Illinois, USA. His work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net and has appeared in numerous print and online journals including The Metaworker, Fictive Dream, Pithead Chapel and Moonpark Review. His website is http://writings217.wordpress.com. His Twitter is @annalou8.
This poem appeared in Pikestaff Forum #5, Spring, 1983.