width=61 height=87> L. Ward Abel
Featured Poet



L. Ward Abel L. Ward Abel is a life long poet, composer of music and spoken-word performer. He has written and recorded music for Abel & Rawls (now Abel, Rawls & Hayes), as Max Able (his former alter-ego) and with spoken-word pioneers Scapeweavel. His poems have been published widely in the U.S. and Europe, in print and on-line. His chapbook, Peach Box and Verge, has been published by Little Poem Press and his new book of poems, Jonesing For Byzantium, will be published in early 2006 at UK Authors Press (Bristol, UK). A new chapbook, In Someone Elseís Mirror, is also forthcoming from The Rooftop Series Press (Saginaw, MI) in 2006. He lives in his native rural Georgia, cultivating his latifundia.

(bio current as of December 2005)



This Valley is Full of Water


This valley is full of water
and fence-lines.  Sometimes along the fences
trees will begin to grow,
as no one can get to them
under the wire.
I feel like those trees:  between, neither.

Pulpwooders and landscape architects
have descended here.
They envision something more
than the apparent,
something with structure;
but they are the fools. 

What can you say about someone 
without secrets in these fields?  About
someone who doesnít care 
if everyone else knows all there is to know
about him?  I wish I were
like that.

In our local feed-store parking lot
is a prisoner who nodded off
inside the prison van.
His dreams are more real 
than his life has become;
he doesnít want to wake.

When the front door of my house opens
a bird flies in;
he sits upon the mantle for a while
until he decides to go.
Some would call it bad luck,
but must everything have a meaning? 

Copyright © 2006 L. Ward Abel



Receiving Line


At the funeral home in Ellaville
I stood in line for a forty year old man
never known to me, though I had known
his parents.  He died by violence
in an unsolved crime.
While queued, other faces were avoided,
me never knowing what to say.  I smelled
liquor on someoneís breath, but
couldnít place 
the brand name.

Copyright © 2006 L. Ward Abel



Arthur's Seat at Night


On that windy hill
I felt  
the city
flash.

Seas of the North
held my palms,
combed my 
hair.

Yellow lights, castles,
The Seat
in rock
blown;

For a moment
I was ancient,
then I felt
my young face.


(Edinburgh, Scotland 1979)


Copyright © 2006 L. Ward Abel



The Widening


Cinnamon on my tongue.

The east condenses;
morning again and I have already fallen, 
fallen in an early frost,
fallen on the edge of a parking lot
where town turns to field.
Iím white now,
iced and stumbling
with 
that taste in my mouth 
and visions of loss.

Get me in a heated space,
thaw me,
close the gap
that I fear is 

widening.

Copyright © 2006 L. Ward Abel



Squall


Broken pine on the breeze
snapped from a force
that carries night with it;
shards cast county-wide
as fragrant seed. 
And when day comes again,
webs in the pasture
like sails
unfurl ankle-high
in futile resistance
to certain  
coming
hell-to-pay.

Copyright © 2006 L. Ward Abel