Hoag Holmgren





free-arm comfort of raptor shadows
splashing skin with
dusk among the dwarf pines
shaped by wind eyes
carved on the antlertipped
spear haft
remember the damselfly
sifting through mulberry fumes
the sacked
and burned
of bones






a limping auroch rooting in bracken
a stream-infested summer
humming among lice

cold-toe scents of dead ash
talk back
to the mouth of
the dolmen the glow worm






shadows walking hold the
troubled hum
of night boulders pouring in
without the gift of drain
shadows entwine leave with arrive

snow vanishing in surf once
had a name
cloudmurk gums the ears
as rain pulls worms into day nothing
heartens like the scar sulphured or
the family reek of piss






hear again which lairmauling by
which eye-scrabbing badger
again the kestrel-ground sands
that ambush the old
again which scorpioncloud pregnancy
after fingering hoof prints
for slow breathing
warning again before smoke replaces
hands and feet






bend milk bend blood to ground holes
see night-births relent milkblood
tasting of turtle walk inside milk walk inside blood
good for old eyes the named
milk-hornet the named blood-fig milk’s dunce
blood’s oracle
was it snake milk birthing rain or was it blood
of half-seen gashes
coils of fever drowning bad-luck pebbles
blood fingers filling-her-leaf-wad




negative hand


nagual-dropped boneflute
jaguaring see pawprinted rivermud
strength in hearing
nightsky lights charm runs
butte-hails echo sunrise sunset
voice filings

wind totems blow
wasp-wings over knuckled
ground the
muscled canyon’s
gourd offer

* *

Image: Klea McKenna, “Volcano Watchers”

Hoag Holmgren photoHoag Holmgren lives in Nederland, Colorado. The paleos project was inspired by the discovery in 2010 that a number of glyphs, signs, and geometric symbols recur in Paleolithic rock art around the world. Main Latin American literary obsession for the past few years has been The Complete Poetry by César Vallejo. Currently reading Adriana Lisboa (Hut of Fallen Persimmons) with past and repeating visits to Morábito as well as mainstays Paz, Neruda, Borges, Marquez. Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Gettysburg Review, StoryQuarterly, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and Mid-American Review, among others. Articles on pedagogy and the arts in higher education have appeared recently in To Improve the Academy and National Teaching and Learning Forum.

Published on November 19th of 2013 in Poetry, Tongue Ties.

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