Hal J. Daniel III – Two Poems

In the Middle

Of the eastern United States,
Eastern North Carolina,
Pitt County,
Otter Creek Farm,
And 12 horses
(6 on each side of where he stands)
He confronts Irene.

Unlike Fran, Bertha and Isabel
She is bigger,
A Medusa of wind and swirls,
More rambunctious
And intermittently violent,
She slaps him in the face
With stinging 100 mph blows.

Thunder rolls and lightning cracks.
A transformer explodes and trees crash.
The horses face the wind.
Their heads down;
Their tails whipping.
She covers the sky
But has no eye.

He whizzes in her winds,
Having learned from her sisters.
He spins and twirls with lifted arms.
Like a maelstrom,
A whirling dervish,
He is a vortex of experience
Just ahead of his stream.

**

Roosters and Hens

I just killed a young Buff Orpington rooster.
I wrung his supple neck, skinned him,
Blessed his cocky soul and dropped him
In my All-Clad pot to become a significant contributor
To my evening’s coq-au-vin.

I remember he looked at me
Just before his immature last croak.
In Stephen’s pen there were 9 roosters, 3 hens;
Now, 3 hens and 1 rooster.
The other “insignificants” went to Manji.

It’s a 100 degrees in North Carolina;
100 degrees in India.
Here we dispose of “roosters” who offer nothing
To the chicken-shit system;
In Calcutta, it’s the “hens” who are expendable.

Manji will tell me his rooster curry
Was “veddy veddy good”.
I will think about his chutney and condiments…
But will not bring up the story he told me years ago
About what happened to his little sister.

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