June 10, 2017

A Poem by Nels Hanson: "Communion"

Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.





Communion

Bread and wine on any table,
briars or roses, heavy timbers,
hammer, railroad spike and tie,
olive oil and cloves, white sheets
we lie on, fishes, fishermen, wood
boats and woven nets, donkeys,
young Jack and Jenny with their
black cross, the color purple, palm
fronds, leafless fig in winter, red
Judas first to bloom in Spring, lilies,
river stones, bare feet, blood on
asphalt, shattered glass a broken
star, sail billowing and splitting
in half in movies, all water, lakes
or seas, pump water pouring into
a pitcher, wide clay bowls, cups,
lightning, darkness at noon, gray
mourning dove’s coo, a rooster’s
call at dawn, five-pointed sand
dollar, Arab women in black scarves
and mantles, trumpets, wild yellow
mustard, grape and vineyard, prisons,
steel helmets, quirts and swords, X
marks the spot on treasure maps,
each new baby, hay, lowing cows,
Sundays and Fridays, the dromedary
and pyramid on a pack of Camels,
desert, green March grass returning,
ewes and lambs Basque shepherds
tend near Los Banos, my birdbath
a blue font, are changed to mirrors,
all trapped in amber or amber light.




© Nels Hanson

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