Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Backwoods and Back Words: Poems by Nicky Yurcaba

Valentine’s Day

the raven bled
upon cerulean sky--
circling, crying, quoting
to we mere mortals scattered below,
who weaved a barbed-wire way betwixt
securely tamped locust posts and across
rocky river ground.

the Angus cattle flooded
upon winter riverside pasture--
lowing, sparring, churning
their hallowed ground
to cold-molten mud,
and we mere mortals
our unworthy heads in futile epiphany:

when we are gone, lowered
and churned into
our hallowed earth’s brown blood,
the raven will circle, cry, declare
“I am the master of these fields;
 I am the keeper of these bones"

The Farmer's Right Hand
For Rodney

The farmer's contagious Monday anxiety
seeps through the John Deere tractor cab's silage-scented atmosphere
incinerating his hired hand, who, in quiet faithfulness, rides beside him.

There is never enough time.

A muscle-building, mechanically-inclining
year-and-a-half of working, learning, adapting beside him--
shoveling feedlot feed bunks, tall-stacking square bales in hay barns,
stretching and tacking barbed wire across and into locust posts--

has implicitly taught her
that when he wants a task done,
the farmer will either bear the task's cross himself
or hand her an unlined three-by-five--
scrawled with black ballpoint;
pulled gentlemanly from his left shirt pocket--
dictating her mucked, mired, muddied,
manure-splattered fate.

Night Vigil

"...but now a more dismal and fitting day dawns, and a different race of creatures awakes to express the meaning of Nature there." - Thoreau

Past midnight conversation
begins always with the same interrogating question:
softly hollered from above high,
cloaked in full moon's milk,
illuminated by flicker-flicker fireflies--
which on before-dawn's new breaking
becomes the land's most melancholic wondering
being asked to one unsatisfied dying-ember soul,
the unknown violating trespasser,
lurking the twilight's gone-gleaming
led by sword-wielding Orion,
haunted by your spreading death-knell wings
through Life's criss-crossed tangled woods-web
while again you maniacally-and-double beg
"Who? Who?"--:

Who dares trespass, break boundary into
your darkened forested dominion,
 arch-angelically you dwell?
Who falls prey to your graceful, missiled predator-swoop?
"Who? Who?"
you ask, wise and dominant,
from skeleton-branch perches,
your razored talons warrior-braced for war-flight
when the unsatisfied dying-ember soul,
the violating trespasser
aimlessly wanders into your farsighted godliness
answering, humbled with pitiful self-admittance,
"I don't know;  I don't know".

Thou Shalt Glow
the Artist—painting necrotic portraits of a phossy-jawed human race
                        dancing beneath a fluoresced radium sun;
                        swimming in cesium-137 lagoons;
                        building isotopic snowmen in strontium-90-laced atmospheric cocaine—
licks his camel hair paintbrush’s tip to straighten, to smooth, the half-life bristles.

Purchase Backwoods and Back Words

About Nicole Yurcaba
Nicole Yurcaba hails from a long line of Ukrainian immigrants, West Virginia mountain folk, academics, artists and writers. She began reading and writing at age three, and that first love of literature and words has propelled her into the arms of numerous publications: VoxPoetica, The Atlanta Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Philomathean, Bluestone Review, Floyd County Moonshine and many others. In December 2013, Yurcaba graduate from Tiffin University's Masters of Humanities program and also published her first poetry, photography and short story collection, Backwoods and Back Words, available on Amazon. She serves as English faculty at Eastern WV Community and Technical College.

Connect with Nicky

Thanks for reading!  As always, please feel free to leave questions/comments below. 

If you love poetry, check out these posts: Scott Burkett, Angela M. Carter, Jeanette Powers and T.L. Washington.

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