Auguries (Another Mad Lover’s Lament)

by Stephen Mead


These berries seem candles within, their blue juice lucent,
distilled right on the vine.
Malleable hands shape supple bunches, the sun’s aristocracy.
How pure is the fingered fruit, clear globes in palms!
Could what they capsule be medicine? Multi-tongued?
From country to country, healing is an alias, a password.
Forget the syllables, the dialect, & will the cure come still?
Do you have to name it?
In our buckets the balls of fruit plink like sap.
Later some get broken by fingers fumbling.


Mute seed, like a magic token, you’ve presented your love.
Hear the response of fear? Feel the heart clench, unclench,
ignited to stall? Again the problem is language.
It is not a word felt, but something like pain.
Think of the wince an animal expresses the minute the trap snaps.
It’s the endangered bird you killed earlier, then mounted to a tree.
Its stiff feathers stuck to the birch, lynched.
Before it had been an icon converting the sky.
Birds in flight once were prophesies.
Diving one with the arrows they amended the Gods
vengeance against the shortcomings of man.


Does buckshot still root at the heart of the portent?
That sickness drills skin. I seethe against burning.
Teeth, teeth of leech, poison is sucked.
Language, the animals have endured with one of their own.
I will survive on silence & shape instinct as vowels.
As for you, go ahead, devour these berries.
Only perhaps then will you too understand.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing