D H Sutherland


A Long Day in Fez

I am waiting, as I do every day, hoping
for the flies and crowds to dissipate and enjoy my coffee.
The woman with her hands out and fogged-over eyes
is Moroccan by deed not design.

Sadness aside, the thought is confusion of what
reality has cobbled together in this terrain.
The flies leave their mark, the crowd leaves the rain.
My anger; brisk, discolored, leaves the woman
clasping for her purse behind a ruined wall.

Ignore the souk, Olive Trees, scaffolds and nets.
See her as a young endowed girl of gait and poise.
Not a face to reason with. Adorned in jewels
and henna. Peacock, no, curved brows
with eyes of a Nefertiti desiring one man. I see

her face now, gone. Only the purse matters
filled with improbable coins, gold, telling meó
time is a motherís love, a newbornís first breath.
And a doctor awkward beyond pretension
must finish the delivery, close the deal,
usurp a miracle sheís already won.

Seasonís Shadow

Mother Nature is up from the crotch
vengeful, even toothed, drip.. drip.. drip.
And the earth has furnished a season
with elm and redwood and spruce.
But you are content among thorns,
weeds in your tool-belt, bramble for hair.
Enough winter, soften your bark.
Let the backwash of salts from pavement
turn sand to soil, soil to earth,
move, trust mistakes.

A handful of twigs, an outcrop of rubble,
a weed or stump of desire are a seasonís debris.
Clouds burst their canopy of waters
into this tableland of dreams, dreams
that portend the power of gods or demons.
In a field at dusk the chirp of ten thousand
leapers kneel to pray -talk -pray, their percussion
a riverís metronome of tide and wave.

But should you wake on some distant shore,
all probabilities spent on an imagined strife.
Walk past this garden where a child
bawls for its mother, fancy that.


Before the diagnosis strikes you
in a blue sky of cinders and sparks,
Dear brother, there is more here than
your Persephone wearing frowns for her Mars.

No Olympian gesture, magnanimous or discrete,
can undo this prickle-pinch of time and deed.
Nevertheless, take heart for it may all be myth.
The longbow of an Aeneas propped
and impregnating your Helen, an odyssey done.

Or chalk it up to a green future dwindling
supply, overpopulation. Our surgeonís acumen
on these gray genes, smiles, curtsies,
then bounces you knee-high in the hay.

And hey, after all your eyes are closed,
teeth grinding down this reality,
gums teething like a newbornís hunger
for a dream gone
and the succor of its mother.

Copyright © 2010 D H Sutherland

D H Sutherland's work has been published in a number of
 magazines, journals and reviews including "The Mid-American  Review", "APR", "The American Literary Review", "Anthology",  "The Reader" and others.