the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY CALDER LOWE

WAR

The words on this page are boring.
Itís time to reconnoiter,
move them single file past the margins,
perhaps to where in the sunís glare

this morning, a shard of green
balloon webbed the sixth and seventh
tree branches to the right of the fence.
Mid-afternoon, consonants obscure the clouds.

The shard is no longer visible.
Only a dove of indeterminate gray
cocked on the second twig on the third
branch to the right of the fence

firing vowels
towards a parallelogram of sky.

================

LOST TO THE LOCUST

April, reputed to be the cruellest month,
when all is said and done, delivers redemption,
the entire ball of wax, the whole shebang,
the goods, the good ship Lollipop,
the sure acknowledgement
that the suffering was a necessary
plot point to ease one to this time
when the years lost to the locust
are tenderly restored, without fanfare,
mind you, but with a resounding stillness
owing to the sanctified 3 in 1 oil lubricated
arrival of a deus ex machina.

Moreover, it is no small comfort
knowing that all of the hardships
were somehow predetermined,
that every event unfolded inexorably,
scripturally according to plan,
that there was much to be thankful for,
it seems, in those nagging prefigurations,
those weighty prognostications,
not the least being the conspiracies
of a gaggle of Pharisees,
and the sweet sting of a kiss
from a biblical hitman called Judas.

================

GRANDMOTHER HUNGER

The earth from the sky is beautiful. Aboriginal "dreamtime"
accessed from a rear window on a 727, heightened
by coffee infusions from a passing flight attendant.

Funny how the dendritic patterns of streams
appear static and compressed
against the wooded landscape below,

as though God had flexed his muscles
after a heavy siege of creation
and pressed his palm against

the ground's surface in an early morning push-
up, flattened all wildness winding uncontained,
allowed only the smudged blue horizon to escape his fingertips.

Cries from the baby seated in my row send my shoulders
bracing against the seat in an involuntary shudder.
My uterus, gone these many years, returns, pulls

sharply 3,000 miles above sea level, emits a Braxton-
Hicks contraction. False labor. Twitch of a phantom womb.
A half continent away, my son, 21, studies

for a midterm in a college library, attempts to ignore
his stomach's growling from a missed meal.
The 727 dips, veers westward. The stockbrokers

arguing in front jabber loudly and incessantly about Dow-
Jones averages, water cooler gossip, Y2K compliancy,
while the young mother whispers conspiratorially.

Her teething daughter's name
is Amelia. This is her very first flight.
The baby frets as her mother rubs arrowroot on her gums,

then twists her body 180 degrees, obliterates me
with a smile. Another contraction tugs.
It's Grandmother hunger at 2 in the afternoon.