On how fragile life might be by Enoch Thompson

car dash board at night

We hit something
she said “a raccoon?”
I said, “opossum.”
I said, “turn around,
let’s turn around.”
and there it was lying in the street
a silhouette of sharp snout and feet
orange on grey on black, the colors fade.
A cat, we hit a cat.
So this is death, bulging, leaking red eyes
protruding from its crushed and swollen head.
She, distraught
me, disturbed
so this is death.
I’ve been punished
now to forever drive
slow
and hold a breathe
at every shadow
flashing
across the road.

__________________________________________________________________

Enoch Thompson 2014Enoch Thompson is an aspiring poet and storyteller.  A grave robber, a pirate, a wizard, an ugly shambling skeleton, he trudges the paths eighteen million other better men have skipped down.  Always, as new words become published and new voices shout to be heard, his anxieties grow.  He is a modern-day writer and encapsulates all of the insecurities society has placed on the cliched profession.

To see more poetry on WIZ by Enoch, click here.

Surprise Possession by Karen Kelsay

mixy lizard

She spends her afternoons beside the tree,
where Mr. Lizard’s made his home. Last week
she caught him in her mouth, and forcefully,
my husband pried him out. She doesn’t seek
this reptile, or a patterned, scaly prize—
just itches for a thrilling chase. For days
she’s turned into a sphinx. Unblinking eyes,
and breath held in her breast. Her mind’s ablaze
with thoughts of how he was in her possession.
He watches from the wall where he’s protected.
They play their waiting game. No intercession
at dusk is needed. She comes inside dejected,
and marches to the house to scheme and plot.
Tomorrow she will have another shot.

__________________________________________________
karen Bio Picture
Karen Kelsay, native of Southern California, is the founder and editor of Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and journals. Nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, she is also an award winning poet. Her latest full length book, Amytis Leaves Her Garden, was published in 2012, and received the AML award. Karen lives in Hemet, California, with her British husband.

Photo of the poet’s cat, used with permission.

Victoria Road by Will Reger

Infrared_Road_Dog_-_(1)

The boy on his way to school
Saw the earth eating a dog.
Black and brown, warm and sleek,
A lolling grin so like its kind:
It was killed by a car and
Fell among the roadside weeds
Without notice and was still.
How long did the earth dance on
Before the boy saw its muscles parsed
Away in trails of stench–a week?
Two weeks?  With moon and sun
Rushing to keep pace, the stars sliding
Out of her way, their milky bouquet
Stretched across the ballroom of night,
This boy peddled to and fro past
Those teeth grinning whiter now
That the earth had nibbled away,
Taking in the dog, one sip at a time.
He had heard stories how the earth
Will one day disgorge
Her long meal of the dead,
And later wished he had taken
A tooth or something to
Summon the dog when it rises.

_____________________________________
Reger PhotoWill Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois and currently teaches history at Illinois State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife and two youngest children. He began writing poetry in the 7th grade and never quite stopped. He also plays the Native American Flute. He has recently had poems published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles (and, of course, here on WIZ).

Photo: “Infrared Road Dog” by Mike Lewinski via Wikimedia Commons, 2012.

Ice Walking by Mark Penny

Beaver_dam_in_Tierra_del_Fuego

A nameless beaver sprang the trap.
Must have swum through it on his way up shore.
The two dogs, Jax and Cleo, crouched in their winter coats,
Gripped and pulled,
But the snare held,
Jealous of its prey.
I found them:
Red paw prints in the savaged snow,
Scrabbling blindly at the brink.
They parted for me.
I freed the carcass.
Primate hands
Dripping intelligence,
Carried the trophy to the pen
I’d built
To keep the collies off the goats–
The neighbour’s goats.
I threw the carcass down.
The dogs converged,
Patience and awe giving way to greed.
I watched awhile,
Then turned to human things.

There were two dams below the house:
The calf-deep creek
Bloated to drowning-depth in two black ponds.

Nights with a flashlight, brimstone eyes
Cruising the surfaces.
The still woods bristled:
Gnawed-off stakes,
Brute remains of silent-rooted trees,
Victims of mammal industry,
Torn bones
Woven in muddy, water-rotted domes.

Winter falls.
Green shapes yield to strangling ash,
Thicken and round out.
Water stills.
I try my foot on the narrow creek.
It holds.
Two feet.
I step.
I stop,
Listen for shifting,
Feel the seams,
Shuffle another pace or two.
All still.
All whole.
The dogs and I
Walk the half-glowing road
Onto the pond,
Ears up,
Knees bent,
Ingrown eye scanning the scratched slab,
The wind-laid pavement.

Now each breath
Savors its passage through the lungs
Upward,
The sky,
Rampant with icy lights–
And tall between,
Lone man
Gaping
As he breathes.
______________________________________________________________
Mark Penny has published with WIZ, and won last year’s Admin Award in the Spring Runoff. He was a finalist in the Goldberg’s “Four Centuries” competition in 2012. He recently founded “The Lowly Seraphim,” an “e-collective” for speculative Mormon fiction.

Photo “Beaver dam in Tierra del Fuego” via Wikimedia Commons.