• jamesbriankerr

New Poems: "Summer Swallows," "August," "Tabula Rasa"


Three of my poems are included in The Poet's Winter 2020 "Childhood" anthology. Here they are:


Summer Swallows

When the sickle has finished its work,

we swoop over the sweet-cut timothy

to see what prizes we can find.

What was hidden is now revealed:

a clutch of unhatched pheasant eggs,

smooth as washed sea stones;

golf balls; a long-lost frisbee;

a baby rabbit sliced in half by the blade;

a box turtle plodding through the grass

like a soldier in a ravaged land.


Grasshoppers leap at our approach.

Cabbage whites dance about our heads.

We share the field with crows, hawks,

blackbirds: an army of opportunists.

The hot June sun bakes overhead.

School is out and we are free – free!

The turtle’s little legs swim in the air,

seeking ground. We consider taking it

as a pet but instead paint a cross

on its back and send it on its way.



Summer Swallows


When the sickle has finished its work,

we swoop over the sweet-cut timothy

to see what prizes we can find.

What was hidden is now revealed:

a clutch of unhatched pheasant eggs,

smooth as washed sea stones;

golf balls; a long-lost frisbee;

a baby rabbit sliced in half by the blade;

a box turtle plodding through the grass

like a soldier in a ravaged land.


Grasshoppers leap at our approach.

Cabbage whites dance about our heads.

We share the field with crows, hawks,

blackbirds: an army of opportunists.

The hot June sun bakes overhead.

School is out and we are free – free!

The turtle’s little legs swim in the air,

seeking ground. We consider taking it

as a pet but instead paint a cross

on its back and send it on its way.



Tabula Rasa

I’d been reading Locke in my room,

trying to sense of it for a paper due,

when suddenly the day went dark

and a distant rumble drew my eyes

to a line of storm clouds advancing

from the west, blotting out the sun.


Lightning flashed – the window shook.

Homework forgotten, I watched the show.

Something there is about a storm

that seizes the mind and thrills the heart:

the lashing rain, the electric sky –

the wind that roars like the sea.


Afterward I ran out into the newborn light

that revealed the world fresh and dripping

like a naked child raised from the font.





5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All