Davies, Hyde & Tirado

In My Old Age



I think of my past impotence

long ago

and now a bird in its nest


I think of Poe

the eyes of his haunted palace

of Lawrence’s lover

her eyes forget-me-nots


of Poe’s concept

a poem never to be long

and today’s paragraphs

lacking music   pictures

lasting passion


of sharp elbows

the poetry crowd clambering up

a ladder to nowhere.


Robert A. Davies is the author of Melons and Mendelssohn. This poem will appear in the forthcoming Bluff Hollow. He can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net.



every few months in the obituaries



i come across

someone i knew

at the halfway house:


young kid

face down between duplexes

with a bullet in the head



walking out in front of a semi



at the cavanaugh house


another flipped car

on i-35

at 3am.


it’s the

older black men

i always linger over.



here’s this guy






cavanaugh house


‘went home

to be with the lord.’


i found cigarettes

in your shoe


had to do

a strip-search.




was crudely carved

into your back


and down

the side

of your hip.


whoever did that

probably crippled

your left leg too.


i don’t know though

we never really talked

did we?


i’d try to reach out

a thousand different ways


use my authority




as possible.


but that just made me seem weak

didn’t it?


i could feel

the hate.


breath it in

like a cloud

of iron filings.


but i could only guess






in the most




Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works as a correctional officer. He’s had work published in a wide spectrum of magazines ranging from The Iowa Review and the New York Quarterly to various on-line publications.  More of his work can be found here: http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/justinhyde.



Biology Lesson



It began in the bedroom,

Right there in medias res,

That wretched observation that comes, at the wrong moment,

From afar:

This meeting is nothing more than a

Bubbling, bumbling yearning of

The universe to see itself biologically,

Crude, ridiculous in its jerky nervousness.

Biology doesn´t lie.

They break for lunch.

The big picture secured, he sits smiling afterwards,

Though inside, a gnawing wonder, essential, ancient and still very raw


“Just for this?”


The painting of the lilacs in the hall properly faces north,

Above the couch in the white living room, three more defend the scene,

& in the bathroom, the toilet paper sheets roll open on the wall side,

As it should be; the cat has his green tray securely in the kitchen corner as well.

History records many such examples.

There was a slithering electricity at one time,

An old serpent-blessed magic which innocently reflected the vibrant light

In many of the rooms, daily.

There was.


The lawn mower struggled with the tall grass

On the Sunday it hit him. Nobody else saw anything.

Atop the backyard wall, Diego spotted birds with murderous calculation-

Before noon, one of the smaller ones would be gifted to her.

He envied that simplicity, that sincerity.

Biological. This was not so much the end of a line, he reflected,

More a crack through which some new, less innocent light burned the soul,

Turning the placid order of the finite

Into an inexpressible, almost ghastly Infinite.


Something had changed. Across town, the car dealership

Made a brisk run this weekend.

On the computer screen, recorded sales

Filled the program until coffee time.

The air also shimmied with dust sparkles so that

Outside, the white shirts of the brown customers appeared angelic.

Only a few hours more, he thought, just before

The crack opened again, revealing this time, some inner container

He once built in the dark, before experience collected.

A realization off to one side maybe, but still there,

Unshaken by being glimpsed.


Dinner was livelier with Santa Rita and fresh ceviche.

There were even fresh smiles since Peru was where the best

Ceviche they´d had was prepared. On a bed of wild rice in Lima

They´d planned biology then, that´s the way he now remembered it.

In biology it began, in biology it will end – he shook this

Last one off for a stiffer glass of Sherry and a sliced tomato.

“We have much to be grateful for” she celebrated, almost cooing,

He blinked, blinded to panic but

The crack stayed completely hidden from her, for now, and

He was most grateful for that,

So he smiled. Grandma´s dishes cleaned, the table made,

Even the cat Diego looked sated, neatly biological.

Stepping barefoot outside, the cool moist, freshly cut grass

Tickled but they watched the stars together with a glass each

And contemplated different worlds:

One demanding grateful acknowledgment,

The other, holding an ominous cracked sphere near the heart,

Anomalous, pregnant to bursting with a light too

Lucent to bear, too eager to be born,

Too biological to ignore.


José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at tirado.jm@gmail.com.

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José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet, Buddhist priest and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, La Respuesta, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at tirado.jm@gmail.com.    

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