Jonathan Patterson: Two Prose Poems and Two Haiku

Murder of Crows

He, lying supine, was encircled gravely by a murder of crows, taping their claws on loose gravel in cadence, sounding of a crab scuttling on a shelled seafloor; the pebbles dig their limestone peaks into his sweaty neck. He thinks of the SS Enterprise, a Vietnamese girl named Pau, eternity veiled so darkly across her chest. Harvesting tobacco in unforgiving Kentucky July, her in a cotton dress, strawberry patterns cover her virgin physique, short whisks of wind interrupt the stillness. Seven days in a cabin owned by her father. Robin’s redbreasts sung outside our window, cracked for an October breeze.


Sparse whistle

His song was a sparse whistle passed through dry lips. Rain is coming. A sleek purple haze blanketed the horizon. But these buds won’t plant themselves. The Old Lady’s language was “yard sale”; her religion: cutting coupons from The Leader. Cabbage ruined, “damn leafworms.” His shovel scuffs the gravel underlying his plant bed, “damn the limestone, too.” Nighttime humidity gets him out of bed, no blankets. Pissing off the back porch; he wonders, “Is it coo-pon or que-pon?”


broken horses shot,
muddy April grounds receive
tears of a lost farm


rain patters barn roofs
standing water in bare fields,
hues of August fade