Originally from Virginia, Karamesines now lives outside of Blanding. Her novel The Pictograph Murders (Signature Books) is a unique Utah murder mystery, set at the site of an archaeological dig where rumors of witchcraft and ancient folklore run rampant. She is a self-described “genre-generalist who roams and writes in the Four Corners region of the desert Southwest.” Her essays and posts have taken a deep dive of late into nature writing and the greening of the landscape of human language. Located in San Juan County, she is at the center of the public land-use issues that have embroiled the region, the state, and the nation.
Who Schools the Gods
I keep faith with Life, but Life
Has debacled and ransacked me.
No thought, no feeling greens, but strife
Drives blast and blaze and mangy sea
Over the cliffs into every lee.
No high ground safe, no hope home free.
If Life were my lover, I’d kick it out
Or slip away the hour it sleeps;
A god, embrace instead my doubt;
A usurer, burn the books it keeps.
But Living into each shadow creeps,
Sniffing me out where I crouch to weep.
All hours the Vandal Lords appear
Extorting goods in coin or kin,
Each day that breaks, demand what’s dear,
Each night locked tight, break easily in,
Leave menthol butts stubbed out in gin,
Graffiti spelling, “DIS MAN SIND.”
Be not afraid, the angels say,
Treasure not this earth, let go.
Sacristans where we hymn and pray
Buff golden rules to fiery glow.
All venerable sages show
What solemn souls must kneel to know.
But who schools gods in being kind?
In letting up and letting be,
In not loosing on an unborn mind
Hounds of undue pathology
Or exacting through heredity
A tithe of mortal tragedy?
Who stops Childe Life from playing rough?
From setting mad, unfocused flame?
Who gives that savage brat a cuff
When Life and homie gods make game
Of each good act, strike talent lame,
Then crow and cavil, “You’re to blame”?
We keep to the coasts of consciousness—
An unbound, unthought, burning sea—
Playing with toys of righteousness,
Sandcastles of authority,
While depths await us, mindlessly.
©2017 Patricia G. Karamesines
Quarter Moon Tapestry
September’s quarter moon lies on a swatch
of grey felt pressed from fleece of its own
shed light and this night’s fabric stillness
trimmed in beadwork of cricket song, inset
with stones of dog bark and the shrills of a horse.
The air holds unseasonable warmth, such closeness,
The becalmed trees pose, still lifes on a canvas
of flimsy dark, each summercraft leaf
languid to tree-tip, where meristems switch freely
but tonight stand trapped in windless substance.
A harvester starts up, laying hay in rows,
engine rumbling, fading, then it turns, and, turning,
swings wide a long shaft keener than moonbeam,
its glare nicking the house, and, with radiant blade,
scything a few wild stands of Cimmerian shade.
Finally, a breeze; at first, just bare stirrings;
at first, just ribbon flutter of faintest
chill striping the skin, ‘til it knits that fast
into burlap currents that knock the sprig-tops
loose of their durance in moonlit resin.
In minutes, by degrees, heat flakes away;
the air’s voice finds tongue in vegetable bodies.
Cricket chant slows to pulsing hum.
I walk in, open windows, then in unlit room,
Watch curtains weave, drunken, on wind’s brute loom.
©2017 Patricia G. Karamesines
Join us on the first Sunday of every month for works-in-progress or recently published work by some of Utah’s most celebrated and promising writers of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction and memoir. Click “Subscribe” at the top of our page to join our email list.
Categories: Daily Bytes