John W. Sexton

The Past and the Present Are Nothing to the Only Now

moonlight soaking the spider’s ladder I am joined to the sky
magnolia-angels bloom with the pristine hearts of stillborn children
no thought in my head / moth keeps a beat in the lampshade
her hair all blackbirds / my mother unfolded a meadow
from the wardrobe a moth in its light of self
snailed / rainbows spill at the thrush forge

sunlight over the park a dog barking darkness
for a house spilling its guts we say snail
a horse re-winds the world’s heart each step on the sloping meadow
silvered pines owl carries the moon’s face on his
nothing of the night but the metal dust of moths
waking for a moment I am made of birdsong

doorways of light open the lake / a thrown pebble my emissary
a woman mutters in her sleep the mountain suckles a cloud
a mask awaits its face in the lost-property office
moonlight / I bleed a shadow headfirst to the door
each tinkle / the chamber-pot hears angels sing anti-grail
the route the stray walks through the city spells YAHWEH







John W. Sexton is a past Burning Bush contributor. He is the author of four collections of poetry: The Prince’s Brief Career, (1995), Shadows Bloom / Scáthanna Faoi Bhláth, with translations into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock, (2004), Vortex (2005), and Petit Mal (2009). His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in 2012. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.