The Scholar- Gypsies in Albuquerque
No, no, thou hast not felt the lapse of hours!
--Matthew Arnold’s “The Scholar-Gipsy”
In 1969, on that spot
atop the stairs that lead
from the mall toward the library
and the classroom building,
where Ed Dorn whipped out
the Gunslinger only a month
earlier, the governor of New Mexico,
befuddled by Love Lust,
stuck his head up his ass.
But behind him among the juniper
around the library was a group—
I can’t say students ( I don’t know);
the governor would have said
hippies, perhaps worse—
and they are still there. Dressed
the same, seated and standing
the same, looking toward the east
in expectation with the same
distance in their eyes.
In the four decades since, I’ve loved
and lost, wandered and wondered,
grown gray and wrinkled, stepped
among the words of this world.
But they have remained in the shade
of the junipers, jackrabbits
hidden from the hunt, eating the berries
to ward off rattlesnakes.
Peyote Vision in the Painted Kiva
The walls flow water
around northbound geese,
spouting fish mouths,
men pissing off the bank.
The Rio Grande rises
in sandy blurts, fills
the circle all the old men
swim in. Smiles rip
their faces into water jugs
sprinkling the sand
into micro floods.
We swim, float belly up.
Sky stares with white eyes,
then grays to old men
diving from sky river,
swimming in flooded circle.
The geese return south.
Clarence Wolfshohl is professor emeritus of English at William Woods University. His poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared in many small press journals both in print and online. A chapbook of poems about Brazil, Season of Mangos, was published by Adastra Press (2009), and The First Three (2010) and Down Highway 281 (2011) were published by El Grito del Lobo Press. In Harm’s Way: Poems of Childhood in collaboration with Mark Vinz was published by El Grito del Lobo Press in early 2013. A native Texan, Wolfshohl now lives with his writing, two dogs and one cat in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri.