the poetry that matters

L. Ward Abel

L. Ward Abel lives in rural Georgia, USA. Poet, composer of music (Max Able / Abel, Rawls & Hayes), lawyer and spoken-word performer (Scapeweavel), he has been or will be published at The Reader (UK), The Yale Anglers’ Journal, Versal, The Pedestal, erbacce, Kritya, OpenWide, and many others.  He is the author of  Peach Box and Verge (Little Poem Press, 2003), Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006) and the recently released The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008).


And so this life thing…
                And so this
life thing…As one line
fades out

as one line fades another
blooms.  And so
this life thing.
As such. 

                Spirits wait
to be joined.  Let’s fly.

When The World Was Big

When the world was big
was it me or was it
just the world was big
’cause now it’s small to me?

When there was grace
and style at the height
of empire were things
so black and white?

I can’t lament the passing
of all things before,
not believing they would
want me to lament.

River blue.  After the sun
goes down.  Bridge lights
reflect, showing current.
Hard wind from the north.

The air is full of lightning
my eyes full of tears.
Dame Isobel Buchanan
sings about the war is over.

Meat is cooking.  All that’s
gone ahead of me
has slipped away
to God.

What color
must wine be
in heaven?  What time
the vigils?


Now the Atonement I Suppose

Narrow path.  Thin trail
at every turn.  On either side
a place not yet formed.  In front,
home or peace or freedom.
Surely; where dreams transfigure.
Smoke in a spider web.

The end of planting season.  So I wait.
Wait. Wait.  Dammit.  Wait.  For spirals
of rain.  For green.  For laughter.
For rows dissuaded of sterility
by a gentle time.  I wait for amity.  But.

Now the atonement I suppose.
The poverty of history and its aftermath
is cruel as hell.  A drear quilts
my passage.  I can’t move.


It rained on my birthday.
No, it was a good thing.
Nothing was thirsty.

I think I’ll name that statue
under the oak and falling sea
Pan or Caesar or something Greek.

I circle with nowhere to land,
my juice almost spent.
My eyes are on fire.

It rained on my birthday.
There were and are plenty of seeds.
I can do nothing else but wait.


Jumping Over Narrow Waters (To a New Island)

Am I the man?
The provider?  The head?
The father?  The husband?
The one who came with
the family name?

Have I squandered it?
Have I ended my chances?
Job:  Gone.
Country:  Gone.
History:  Gone.
Is there nothing more to say?
Have I said it over and over and
over and over and over and over
and over again?

OK.  OK.  OK.  OK.  OK.
Too numb to be:

It’s time to move on now.
The bells have tolled
in the town square.
It begins


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