“Harvest in Phases of Night” (Sharing another original poem.)

Revisiting some of my older work this morning, I came across a certain poem and decided to share it. I very rarely use this space to publish poetry previously unpublished, but for some reason, I wanted to share this one. This is for you who found me through poetry, you who enjoy poetry, and you who enjoy the art of words. I wrote “Harvest in Phases of Night” in 2011.


Harvest in Phases of Night


The old woman ought to be

guarding the flower beds,

not spilling from acres to plots

hawking for signs:


pumping blood, an earring of pulse,

a car in flame intersecting the right

passages of dark.


Later, flinging her tampered

sleep in the night, she opens

her eyes to the kettle detached,

spectators caught

overhanging the wood fire.


Before dawn, her three arms

have fallen asleep, the accidental one

blackened, smelling of gasoline;


she adjusts her blanket, keeps it close…

she waters the early

streets and telephone lines,

sparking fury and grail;


she says her crushed-metal

prayers at sunrise,

chewing breakfast of concrete

peeled from asphalt walks,

punishment for ignoring the grain,


her old shoe and its sole

gold for the wake,

nourishment boiling over.


The headline of the day passes

unnoticed by the draw,

by the brass shield clouding the tide –


the old woman’s spine a chain of goblets,

auric meningitis, dreadful error,

unfortunate ride down pitted roads.


By the time I get there

the next night,

she’s rid the yard of gawkers.

She’s doing penance,

threshing stalks, sugar cane,

wheat of heritable caution

under a half-moon.


She’s answering to the nobility

of chrysanthemums.


There are more ways than one

to crash an ending:


fitful meetings of burnt tire,

fragmented window, misfires of logic,

passion we’ve never imagined….


Ore and secrets. Who knows

what causes these accidents?


She sleeps while the killed

find their way to the sidewalk, stone above

sketches of lighting at midnight.


In the end, it’s garden

mower to traffic signal.

The moon makes the dying right.


by Kristi Garboushian, April 2011


[17 January 2018] [ETA: no filter… just weird lighting!]

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