Andrew David King

Silo Sonnet

Silver-rust silos lean as if to launch
like chromed hourglasses through the stratosphere,
gold snow of pollen. Thin ladders ensconce
their bald metal domes, monks tonsured of hair.
These rockets, they have pillared in the earth
all heavy thoughts of flight, carved of them roots—
seeds winnowed from the husk, lifted from dirt;
the daily bread, insufferable food.
A gorgeous recklessness haloes the boys
who climb up to the chamber, churn the wheat,
and when the quicksand takes one as its choice
the others seize his wrists, pray as he sinks.
The tabernacle, locked, will not upend.
Small soul-light lifts. World without end, Amen.

 

 

Fireworks Sonnet

Before the Fourth. The night: black. Window: hot,
glass caging in the last of livid day
while that close star slips past. Boys in the lot
next door yawp and exalt, hurrah and pray
for early bottle rockets, squeal and screech,
earthquake of an M-80’s shaking cough.
Seconds-long wars. Across town, new lights breach
bright heads into this world, simmer to soft
strands that wind tight their fingers, dart to grip
the twilight’s shell-smooth sheen. A shout, a crack:
white whorl on the horizon, then it slips;
quick to be born, quicker to be called back.
Little lightning-strike loves, why can’t you wait?
Plenty time, still, to murder and create.

 

 

Andrew David King (Berkeley, CA, USA) is editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Poetry Review.