I ate the leg of a deer.
The spry deer-leg that leapt
holly bushes and trout-filled streams.
I downed it with a mug of beer.
I dropped his heart into a sack
and stacked his bones beside the curb.
Pick-up days are on Wednesday.
I used his antlers as a rack.
I chopped up his liver in a flash
and scattered the useless hooves,
ears and tail along the ground, but
I hid his eyes, those eyes, in the trash.
23rd Century Psalm
The Gene is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Inside each throbbing cell; It leads me;
It has no soul.
It steers me with DNA codes
for Its own sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
of cancer or madness
I speak no evil, for It decides.
Perched like a bead on chromosome string,
It knits my heart.
It melts the darkness around me
with the flame of sight.
It anoints my hair with color;
my cup overflows.
Surely awe splattered with grief follows me
And I shall exist as a house for the
all the days of my life.
You're an obsolete four-letter word; turd
Is used more often now, just a bunt; runt
In the thesaurus, no one seeks your name; lame
As eunuchs in a harem's boudoir; far
From our butcher-sharp lives, you're pale; frail
As a thirteen million to one lotto bet; yet
We sometimes hear your kitten bawl; calling
All night whenever dreams claw at the window.
Dan Campbell lives in the Washington DC area. He learned to love poetry in the Peace Corps in El Salvador when one of the few books available in English was Whitman's "Leaves of Grass". One of his poems was ocmposed into a song for a chamber opera at the Smithsonian. His favorite poets are Charles Simic, Franz Wright and Sylvia Plath. HIs first book of poetry is available through Lulu Press.