Three Poems
Jay Lee Ellis

Two Hands Fall

Fall should come hard
fair about the death of light
No chill here in the air
as the leaves drop from exhaustion

full bloated fruits of delineated passion
place names rotting with enemy
corpses barely outlined bitter hung
cut off and cured by an opposition

They drop from the weight
of unevaporated time
water weighed down
to the sidewalk warm with rotting

religion and nationalism born again
mewling that summer hot identity
shameless under the fueling sun
how from nowhere falls the gun

Here the air is stale
too still warm for death
Give us a cold winter
honest and dry with wind

(it must be cold there now
with new deaths under snowfall
here is the full shame not
without the slather of insecurity

Blown away the lies
covered with snow
to shame our summer smiles
we will look in a while

too cold for color
we cannot bear to fall
our fires of color ought to light
our brilliance when we fall the same)

This fall falls from within
dies of its own full accord
fruits too much to be digested
too sweet with life not to stink in death

shameless in opposition
the one hand in the pocket
does not feel
the other's blood
We will not look as they fit together
the sticky coins kept away for winter


Three Robins

I.In the Field I Remember
the notes from the nest
flash of intelligence
the red breasted interest
headstrong redhead
deliberate sense of humor
who would direct but acts
sews her predecessors
reads a bit
and song "Woohoo!"
(the mixture tangling
sarcasm for regret)

for honesty brutality
hawkish skitterish
so the song to fight the wish
eyes the metal of found blue buttons
faded round the pupils a feathered rust
(the black holes small before rusting wide
to the horizon event of you
you hide)

The one whose talons cannot tolerate touch?
Who would be too busy for me
my annoying squawk?
But the bird hopped sweet
sang her new identity
in the new nest of proud found spots
Irish white flushed with the heat
(Or was that a dream?)
of bathwater
and shyness

II.Second Glance
your big fancy fighting swoop
over a little Louisiana pond
migrates to Dallas
range moving up
(like Lee and as reckless)
Richmond from the South
Who was once (before metempsychosis)
to fly stubborn enough
a plate glass door
come out with the deep lines only
revealing some tender beauty?

bird of bird logic
wound tight like a birds foot
that breaks snakes
and the foot of clumsy
Who refuses advice on pool
but on occasion likes to be told
"Finish up your drink and lets go"
Who sang with May in the off season
read french lit all on your own
wintered in waltham
Texas exile but one degree
of separation yet away from me

attentive to the bridge graffiti
by the washington mormon monstrosity
migration shifted west
to hop the streets
rose and fell like the curves on your body?
Sensitive knee and a line on your thigh
where your life in some sky
did not leak out in your through the looking glass flight
Fingers for your height remarkably small
But strong enough to shove me against a wall
Capable with eggs but cannot admit how
the Irish Hunter winged up the young
talent of a town too stubborn to sing phonetics
saved and banded for surprise flights
"The oldest permanent
Louisiana settlement?"

I remember your red breasted
gaze of some kind of wonder
but I wanted to look sure
Ask some questions
listen then
if you had not flown away mad
(hop roving for cheaper bliss)
asked you for a second kiss.

one cries from wanton cruelty
but more for once
more knowing
again the brief spring
and illusions of love

What is one bird to another?
We glance for food and
flight song
The season passes
never lasts too long
before winter nights
and the sun goes down.


The Garden

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"What need for Heaven, then ..."
­­Theodore Roethke

"... mais il faut cultiver notre jardin."

Believe belief and believe again,
roses we no longer feel
in our
rooted deep in thereptilian

Lost, the form of
in misunderstanding
the silicone chip implanted
in the tired scales of our eyes.

Form underlying beauty of
roses is lost under the weight of
our new dead matter,
lost for good reasons our belief
in the old divisions

alls no longer from the sky,
no longer though
from the smell of salt and roses
on the back of a lover's neck.

is supplanted now
by the promise of diversion,
cerebral trickery above the
root reality of the beauty of
The smell of roses
the many colors of roses,
comes not from thin
clusters of signal emotions
triggered bullets from our
desperate senses.

We fall,
from a failure of belief that
fills every waking hour.

(and in our dreams we dream
still of water of the sound of waves,
of the smell of old roses marinated
in time and carrying within their
darkening petals the dying of light
and the dying of day.)

Night comes so soon for some
we watch with care the
Judicious pruning of the heart's desires,
trust only the careful skeptical
reaction to the low judge's interruptions
of the woman whose husband shot her son
of the man who would be something else
anything else
of the fall of old injurious reason to
the new depths.

As if anything were new under this burning sun,
as if anything we make were not doomed to dust
as if one small voice amounts to more than a
foolish vote spent better on a lottery ticket.

(so call now for your cancers to be healed,
your teeth to be filled your life mapped out
in the heavens or in heaven. You, we promise,
will not be insignificant will not be unheard
in your politics your prayers your
dream desires in most of all those old beliefs)

and wants.



against all we know suspect,
and know there is all danger of creation
beyond that which having been created
would guide the tendrils of our future.
The very word that leads us,
blind as we may never have been
so blinded
to quiet calm
to the softness of old roses
to death and to dying and
there to life everlasting in our daily lives
we are driven by belief but tempted by lies.
I pray that we may yes,
pray for the bravery to live
to see
taste passing time
run our fingers over the old rose's death
and our own living to that end.
Will we embrace the dangerous future,
love it for its folly
while guide it to that
blood color
time smell
of petals so battered and bruised by
these pollutions and scavengers? I
pray that we may hold in our hearts
the dying belief, this belief dying only
in the second to second world
dead that remembrance
of death and decay
our old recognition
of the return of night's skeptical cold
to the warm growth of one new day.

One rose dies so another may
live. Would we believe
but tend the fragility of that
garden of our belief, raise red
roses to the blood reality of new creation?