Sheila E. Murphy & Douglas Barbour

Continuations CXX:

see    sea change     all
     ships abandoned    there
                s having   loss
as leader    chip
     off   the hold
                blocked by failed regs

hip of the lock step
                ailing process fosters
     motion            albeit
fragile                  complicit
                rustling paper thin shorelined 
broad leaves

                                bread loaves
water to wine    a gift
     economy   /  forget it
                for getting help
                     s a story   now
                                denied by reader/ship

overtime                the water
                drifts commingling with
                                a storied atmosphere
  pace of the whipsaw blends
                with wind
                                slipping                past

tense    a kind of
                lack of     kind
     ness    monsters of
their ids    no kids safe
     but any embryo
                a yoyo punishment

stirring the ruckus con brio
                shifts the rills 
                                to rushing tones
                  to fast track
whole notes
                dis guised as creed

sonant greed    sonar speed
                a thing below beyond
                                belief    system
(auto)matic    manic     manacled
                as mind full     (of
                                dark (no) matter

shade trees
                still         raw
                                ticklish topics                    green clad
   spark mindful
                sound                    shifted
                to matter                 although nicked

damned   dimestore theologies
                occlude    it
                                s a cloud (in)formation
shade of shed of shoddy workmanship
                as in (or if) a wonky construction
                                made of iron clod faith

dramatis personae        blinkered
                blip once more
                                strictures hamstring critical
th ought                                pseudo faith
                projected                 challenges hope
                                to a duel with charity

as chosen only   a chase
                man handled    banked
                                on IT  the intel
a lost leader     shipped off
                sent a long way beyond
                                the field of empathy

hastening to be imagined 
                yonder where the tipoff
                                blades its way into
    the poor cloth of diminution
                covering the misguided
                                leaders banked on

backed into    a closer closet
                that darkness seen as out
                                there    elsewhere
in someone else s hands     arms
                manned up     but silent
                                as more grave tidings

if an ark                 then 
                pairs dot the line toward
    safety                 to rave reviews
                a coalition of the tilling
                                of the s oil
     backing away from now

into a future passed  (by
                whose choice    chance
                                chased from the inn
er sanctum     to let
                them eat coke    trade
                                market forces    out

proclaiming chastity 
                in lieu of charity
                                neglect stings
   one plus                one           whose sanctity
                s defunct                with only
    echoes in the coffers

offers minorities hear
                they must not refuse
     the refuse they obviously chose
                to bear     the bare
                     necessary   recessionary
                                twelve steps programmed

cessation works                quiet works
                ear training supersedes 
                                all other modes
                                                bearing witness
    to the stated versus                  the state
                gram by gram

mar   what s heard    sheared
                the sheep look down
                                avert the eyes
the ayes     for something in
                vested    interests
                                gains    as given  (grabbed

equals owned                  no equal sign
                means I for an aye
                                mean spirited
as in do you take 
                to be
                                your owned     etcetera

adding up    a bonus plus
                a bonus   plus
                                bone um
pire    judgment   burned
     vanitas  vanquished
                a genial lie

no though of intimacy
                fine white lace of branch
                                the vase with traces
   of a gesture                 seen felt   left
                upon a surface                 changed
                                                within us

there s hot glazed lines
                broke  baked   mounted
     as a trophy    cracked
                that s age    or anger
                     made a puzzle
                                scattered   (scarred

bits      requires standing
                                back to see a whole
      clay being
                                and the surface
           not the essence                 quite
                shiny                dust

rust   a musty odor
                essential   to what
     revivification    old thought
                worst thought    first
     found rooting in   (for)
                another ancient dumpster

doorways revive motion
                                our history
    the sense                    of taking
                perfectly                 equivalent
                                to giving 

way   back     (where or)
                when    men
                                sang a song
along the lines of lost rituals
                so much bad faith
                                enacted for  (but against?

anticipated life spa
                n              longer than
    imagined want
                                self       c enters     the draw
       and now gathering
                lifeless force 

face d off   of the hat
                e  motion to rescind
     first words   worst
                thought raised up
                     wards   against
                                what projected fear

gray autumn scatters 
                quiet      then the cinders
                                sound the crush 
   of wheels venturing 
                to raise prospects 
                                of change by chance

Douglas Barbour continues, happily retired, to live in Edmonton, Alberta. His latest book is Listen. If (University of Alberta Press 2017). his occasional reviews (mostly of poetry) appear in Eclectic Ruckus (https://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/).

Sheila E. Murphy's recent books include Reporting Live from You Know Where (Meritage, i.e. Press, and xPress(ed), 2018), As If to Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory (Broken Sleep Books, 2018), and Underscore (Luna Bisonte Prods, with K.S. Ernst, 2018).

Two volumes of Continuations have so far appeared, from University of Alberta Press.
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