Poetry by R.T. Castleberry
A Failure of Light
A placid, looming moon
shapes the snare of common streets.
There is green in this darkness,
a scattered white of zinnias,
feathered light from apartment picture windows.
Returning empty as I left
my voice drops out,
like the jet descending in the distance.
A car slides through the lot,
music a low vapor.
Silver silk, a scarf winds my neck.
Scents of creamy coffee,
baking bread, spilled beer
press upon me.
I bookmark a novel
with a letter I’ll never open.
Notes notched and torn crowd the decades.
It’s a custom of disappointment,
a measure to arrange defeat,
as a pilot aligns wheel and wing
for unplanned impact.
As I approach the building stairs,
I stand mute, arrested at a silence
hosted by hedge and fenced lawn,
rooftop ribbon of row house and high rise,
an airplane’s banking turn below true horizon.
A Complaint About the Moon
The gate swings wide.
An oak leaf glistens,
spinning from a spider web.
Hard showers of an afternoon storm
drive the street play indoors.
I carry a wound to the world,
a greedy, grinding complaint
that mirrors ruined city rows,
a scattering of ravens under a lynching limb.
I watch old friends get sick, go soft, go Socialist.
A brother who wished a death
found it at the hanging end of a leather belt.
This is not my war. They are not my poor.
Two flags fly below a full moon.
Impatient with clenching beauty,
I rush sunset to see another sunrise.
My work has appeared in Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, The Alembic, Pacific Review and RiverSedge, among other journals. I am a co-founder of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe, co-editor/publisher of the poetry magazine Curbside Review, an assistant editor for Lily Poetry Review and Ardent My work has been featured in the anthologies Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice and The Weight of Addition. My chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011.