Poet’s Basement

Spring Prayer

Where do you get your life seed
I give you soil and water
neither mine to give and a pot
made from soil and water
neither light nor warmth within

Grow I say filling your grave
with water wiping my hands
washing the soil away with water
I am water mostly I am grown
Grow up to be like me seed

Lift your thin shoots to the sky
in a joyful noise the lands
rejoice in your coming seed
the fruits and grains and legumes
of your modest success sing

Soon enough it will be autumn seed
and in my need I will harvest you
bred of my knowing the seeds of sweat
broken on my brow like bread
in communion with the dead

There is blood in any harvest seed
you fill my cup with hunger
the stark stems of consumption
do you sanctify my thirst
is it thirst that makes you green



Where shall I sit? Shall I sit?
Am I worthy to sit in your presence?
May my shadow sit with me?
Is it asking too much in its silence?
Shall I leave it like boots at the door?
I count it as nothing to lead or to follow
the darkness it gathers around me.
It never escapes me.
Is my shadow a gift or a burden?
Shall I kneel in the hall until bidden to sit?
Shall I wait till the candles are lit
to awaken more shadows
like moths to a moon?
Is there room at the table?
Am I coarse, merely fit for the stable?
Are my manners your manners?
My image your image?
Will you notice my presence beside you?
Have all of your sides now been taken?
Have you sides to sit next to?
Is my knowledge your knowledge?
My presence your presence?
Is my shadow yours?


In the Dark

Rising from darkness into which to fall
where the deftly daunted senses stiffen

maybe on Monday with missing windows
maybe on Friday with swaying keyholes
maybe on Sunday with reckoning pews

each tree topples into its own shadow
as a fouled stream veils its varicose voice
even the deaf have begun to listen

to the iron roar of the smithy where
scowling is hammered into sentences
clamoring steel like a sword forged of nails

flashing from its scabbard at last shedding
a dusting of rust bent on renewing
the darkness to all but begin again

David Moser lives in Washington, DC.


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)
To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

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