1 poem

C. Mikal Oness


Fruit Day on the biodynamic calendar
And I’m trying to keep my balance digging
on the hillside beneath the apple tree.
We’re putting in blueberries. I tip a little.
A clay skull of sod unhinges from the hole,
Breaks free and pulls at my wavering weight.
Bigfoot can uproot and flip a whole denuded trunk
And plunge it into the soil, roots webbing the air
The like the old housetop antennas
That brought us the first walk on the moon.
Finally, we don’t know how easy it might be
To change worlds and be as surprised as
A Bigfoot drinking from the stream, like she does,
But by a road that wasn’t there before
With a car stopped and an astonished driver
Staring. I’d take off into the woods as well
If I could outrun a deer, live on berries
And bark, and craft a xylophone
With a few branches knitted to a tree.
We know everything but what we can’t see,
And what the Smithsonian hides from us.
I think of the photo of the two 19th century
Hunters holding a Sasquatch head by the scalp,
Long gun shouldered, machete in hand. But where
Are the bodies? Where is the scat? Science demands
A pickled carcass. The facts can be as elemental
As the beings I serve by packing roots with a shovel
Of compost from this pile and a shovel of peat
From the Fairy Isle, dandelion and nettle packed
In a stag bladder, the manure of a lactating cow
Planted in a cow horn then stirred like a witch’s brew.
The gnomes, the sylphs, the undines all come
From somewhere if we usher them in. I pick up
A lump of clay by the hair and toss it to the bin.
In fact, I think those uprooted trees impaled
Into the marsh might be a way in and a way out.
Look at us from any distance. Wouldn’t you bury
Your dead elsewhere, take a shit elsewhere, raise
Your children behind the calculus of space if you could
outrun a deer, break its leg from behind and load up
on a few berries? How easy might changing worlds be?

"Inclination" was a runner up for the 2018 Up North Poetry Prize

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C. Mikal ONess

C. Mikal Oness is the author of Water Becomes Bone (New Issues Press) and Oracle Bones (Lewis-Clark Press). He is an alpinist and a cottage farmer in Southeastern Minnesota and is the founding editor/printer for the Literary Fine Press Sutton Hoo Press (www.suttonhoopress.com).