Sunday, September 14, 2014

Joan Colby- Three Poems


Just past the wire, the fabled filly
Undefeated, until now, by her own fragility.
The cannon bone cracks audibly
And three-legged she tries to keep
Momentum as the jockey vaults off
Seizing the cheek-strap of the bridle.
The crowd, bewildered, hushes.
A cloth shield blocks what’s going to happen.
She’s down struggling while the jockey
Holds her frantic head, eye rolling
As the trainer leaps the rail.
The audience sees nothing.
In solemn tones, the announcer says
The vets are evaluating her prospects
Though like everyone beyond that veil
He knows.They don’t shoot horses
Anymore. A needle full of sleep.
She goes down in the record books.
Best 3-year-old of her generation.
Buried maybe in the infield,
Heart and hooves at least.
Not like a cheap claimer
Dragged off to the boneyard.


Cliché of what can never be fixed,
A blemished masterpiece. Insignia of
Which came first. Unsolved mystery;
Loss of Eden. Serpent or Eve
Wiggling tracery of blame.

A sloppy dish of shattered suns
Spooned or heated into hillocks
Of an unstable motherland.
Shell of all desire,
Once white, oval as an all-seeing
Eye, sticks in resolute shards
To the golden ooze
You’ll never reassemble.
Eat, imagining somehow
You can be made whole.


Glass eye to the outer world
Exists to be broken. Anything thrown,
A child’s ball, an  enemy’s stone,
The rock a spinning tire expels,
Can do the job. Fangs of dismay
Score the room. A gunshot draws
A perfect hole. Once, taxes limited
Installation. The chilly
Dark abodes of the poor
Where there was nothing
To be broken. Live here
Without dodge or hope.

1 comment:

  1. Joan's poetry never pulls any punches, startles us into seeing a true sharp-edged world.