Timothy Pilgrim


Dancers queued, poem to begin,
surfers intense, thousand-yard stare,

climber below summit, ready
for thin air. Mountain unconquered,

wave out of reach, lyric not written,
footwork seized — tango, sonnet,

ocean, peak. All paused, in step,
ready to keep time — calm,

waiting for dawn, breathtaking view,
the coming moment, pas de deux.

Making cadaver scents

Smells of death — stirred, brewed,
grave way to train rescue dogs,

saviors of the strayed, forsaken,
betrayed, lost. Dead, vanished

into bottles — avalanche, revenge,
fire, flood. Scents so strong

salvation turns out moot,
reclaimed life after breathlessness

another lie, too. Those remaining,
mission aside, finally find sleep.

They dream the cuckolds are alive,
buried in snow, deeper than deep.


Les Baux, rocky outcrop,
skyline castle, Celtic stronghold

above Provencal mining nightmare,
jagged inspiration for Dante.

Bleak peaks defying gravity.
Nine layers of tailings,

weeds scattered amid stone.
Nine lives of hell too

centuries before suspicion
free markets may not be

much good at all for those
who don't own goods,

aren't free — divine howl,
a blackened tragedy.

Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with several hundred acceptances from journals like Seattle Review, Third Wednesday, Windsor Review, Convergence, Otoliths, and Toasted Cheese. He is author of Mapping Water (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be found at timothypilgrim.org.
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