Size / / /

1.

unseen somewhere sirens

sing fire in the cold night
and i answer them
like a phone

only to find lights pinning

red over white
snow as nightdark waves
of water break

on the burning houseprow

and me, avoiding
the bone bare trees between
curb and sidewalk

until slam!into

my car because i can't
quit shivering and fish-
tail to you (again) to hold

me, sliding through the stop signs

2.

guardrail broken clean through,
sharktoothed mouth of jagged metal, or
a lily's trembling jaw; but mostly

   (light blooming in darkness
   drawing the soul adrift,
   flesh boxed in dropped in
   the night after night after)

stairs we cannot climb
leading only to false rooms
beyond this crystal curtain

   (the
spirit spirals, twists and rises
            into the tube
        of light)

lights off. sit calm! sit calm!
begin our slow glissade into the tears
of heaven where we d(are not)rown

3.

          the sublurb
         on the photo showing cornfields
        read

      'banker green and farmer brown
     strike a deal, will plant a town'

   or something like that

 news to starve my heart but nothing new
growing rows of houses fenced in by concrete malls
irrigated by steady streams of cars trucks minivans
 and news would be the mutant honeybee

   or someone like that

     who these vinyl weeds so irritate
      they evolve fresh ways to pollinate

        dead
         dry pods holding dormant soulseeds,
          the suburb

4.

souljars
              one
      little two
      little three
      little
souljars

good egg bad egg scrambled egg toast

      onward     
      listen        
      souljars     
      marching  
      off             
      to              
      war
humpty
dumpty
sat
on
a
wall

a tisket a tasket the earth is a basket
we all fall we all fall we all fall

and all the eggs
and all the eggs
and all the king's horses
and all the king's men

 

Copyright © 2001 Charles Coleman Finlay

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Charles Coleman Finlay's poems have appeared in The Bitter Oleander, CrossConnect, Rattle, and elsewhere. He has two short stories forthcoming in Fantasy & Science Fiction. Visit his Web site to read more about and by him.



Charles Coleman Finlay is the author of The Prodigal Troll, a novel, and Wild Things, a collection of short stories. His fiction has appeared recently in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and Subterranean. He's the administrator for the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror. "Lucy, In Her Splendor," another Limestone Island story, appeared in MarsDust. "Passing Through," a third story set on the island, is forthcoming in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
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