Among Hickories ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written April 16th, 2012
For my father


The spring has not advanced far enough
To have clothed every tree, so that among
The bright green children of mid-April,
There still remain these delicate skeletons,
December cadavers, standing without mourners,
These old dear patriarchs
Croaking their old stories
To the current looters of the morning’s gold.

They make us think of our own aging fathers,
And teach us, again, to savor the gaunt as true,
Those tired stories repeated without context,
Simply because their branches once leafed out
A folklore now swept bare by winter’s rout.

Here is a glass whose black cracks slowly spider
Their crooked phrases through indifferent air.
You may address the mirror, but do so gently,
For accusations will extend the breakage.
You may approach, but do so like a hunter,
Whose tracks repeat, with stealth, those of his prey.

Fist ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written June 17th, 2007


Chunks of rocks as large as cars clump at the roadside
Shucked from a wall of cliff.  The shear-lines have
Made them scooped and scalloped.  They are beautiful.
Even in their stone way of being, we suspect that they
Feel the duel weights of connection and separation,
Hardness and giving way: fathers and sons.
Theirs is a muscular river of mineral awareness
Flowing with ancient slowness, not only in the blood,
But in the bone, and below that, in the calcite structures
Older than bone, in ice-work, in sun-grind, in shearing
Forces that counter the maternal conglomeration
With something that could only be melded in fire, cracked by ice.
Theirs is the thunder-voice that labors deeply
As the masculine forging of love’s most durable bond.