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Poetry by Kathryn Rantala

 

 

Genghis

 

The hordes were circling for days,

a noose on horseback

lathering dirt and cant

in the subsoil.

 

From the outskirts of the penumbra

the Kahn observed:

grounding slows entropy.

He removed the feet of his horsemen.

They would sleep astride

when they slept.

 

Suspension infused him.

When he removed the feet of his horses

they reared and charged.

Only the rub of leathers

their bright eyes

alerted us.

There was no dust.

 

[originally published in Ice River]

 

 

 

Gothic Architecture

 

Beating at its face

the wind

the bits

make holes

where small things settle.

The mutability of host

a convenience

in the age of pillory.

 

Below the buttressed god

pullets scratch.

Dust uncolors them;

a life is made of carving names

in blocks.

Chips and shells

and tenants

fall

in attitudes of prayer.

 

The egg of the sun

is yellow,

winter makes it stone.

Beneath a wing,

a nest.

 

 

 

Tristes Tropique

 

Hed go to the island again

though refreshment is brief

and lay with his eyes closed for sheer warmth.

The days there reach like a reef

while he basks at the edges

and turns

and sometimes, perhaps, swims.

 

This is seed for another sleep,

a dream of storage neither too hot

nor too cold,

a forgetfulness swelling and rolling

a knoll or plain,

sight navigated,

light blind.

 

With sun so direct

we may be oblique;

go without herald though some wait

or passage,

though we age and are lost.

We live in ourselves vaguely

like the salt sweet taste of our skin

when the wind slows

or the hot close sound in our ears

when wind rises

or the waving horizon that wilts

and fades

and fails to notice anything else just now.

 

[originally published in Portland Review]

 

 

Bristle

 

Please bristle please row please bristle teeth in about you and the orange row your face a dumpled dimpskin you turn around it and no quarter behind no row house in about these streets a quarter no bristle-topped great-legged horses snorting chomping black moving chimneys power like a gardener in rain a hose a spade a rake a never bending never back in who never shed away in shed an anytime back or any in a whinnymulch horsegang galumph of orange and steam-pies in the afterwalk you wont see so many nonhorses, such a lot of many so bristley please and nosepins.

 


 

About the Author

My work has recently been placed with Poems Niederngasse, Cafe Irreal, La Petite Zine, Melic Reveiw, Spinning Jenny, Raven Chronicles, elimae, Tatlin's Tower, Painted Bride Quarterly and others. I am founder and co-editor of Snow Monkey, An Eclectic Journal, a print magazine featured on our website at www.ravennapress.com. My personal website can be found here. My book, Missing Pieces, a collection of largely forensic though somehow tasteful writing, is available via Amazon.com or through our website.