I've read the book of life in my mother's painstaking cursive, know January 4, 1959 she dispensed with the island heat and glare by working at the base all day so she could teach an American to turn under the stars. In back, by the chickens, a radio sang its incendiary mambo and a goddess and her rapt lover cared little for the news, which streaked invisibly over them. Yes, I looked up a few things she failed to mention, going on about the ring, her dress, someday a son, how in the late hours a Russian missile just missed the moon. It didn't matter that everyone slept in fear then, fear of a dark side and of the end. I was a fantasy, a brainchild, a distant aim conceived on paper, tender pyrotechnics yet to come. But I already had a world she'd saved in this small way.
Wind Farm, Shanksville
The children might get anxious if they knew how whimsically, how almost eagerly we leave the highway and enter a landscape, risk arrest just because they point at “windmills.” Rembrandt never dreamed of a turbine or an airplane, ditto Van Gogh, these their hills we trespass, their wheat fields the monumental, commonplace sky touches in the middle of nowhere. We brush aside tall grass with gusto as if beneath pedestrian allegiances we believe in another, quainter country like a past we can walk to, even live in not in spite of but because of its genius appearing so finite. But loneliness won't console us, nor the children's delight in gods who roar with an almost innovative patience, flailing or perhaps beckoning.
-- David Moolten's poems have appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Southwest Review, and Epoch, among other journals and reviews. In terms of recent publications, new verse has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Blackbird, and Hotel Amerika. His most recent book, Primitive Mood, won the T. S. Eliot Prize (Truman State University Press, 2009). He lives & writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.