Earth, builder of beauty;
her plumb line: a still point,
precious center, damp

What I’m composing are
earth-words: a swathe of heat,
painted deserts, morning musk,
saguaro green.

Upon my lips, misted whispers:
a fog’s low roots, moist glaze,
dawn’s red vine, dappled light,
cypress, corn silk.

I shake my pen
and from its throat spills
night’s ink sac: salt,
stones, spicy stars.

I shake it more: it empties
the imagery; my feelings;
black sand, spears of pine,
a river’s idle yawn.

Earth pushes us from her womb
where an underground gurgle, like a god
blowing into a straw, creates star bubbles,
first breath, birth cry.

Like birds, we build nests, lay eggs,
feel earth buzz in our bones:
a jug of dreams, seasons, necessities.

Dah Helmer’s poetry has appeared in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, River & South Review, Perfume River Poetry Review, Miracle and The Muse, and is forthcoming in The Cape Rock, The Lost Coast Review, Literature Today, Poetry Pacific, Zygote in my Coffee, Red Wolf Journal, Deep Tissue Magazine, Jellyfish Whispers, Dead Snakes, Rose Red Review and Digital Papercut. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is to be published by Stillpoint in 2014. Dah lives in Berkeley, California, where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

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