Two Poems by H. Malone Graye

Strip Mined

I will never be a mother
So you can be proud
glowing grandparents
So you can fulfill
your bargain
your dream

I will not heir forth
Presence of onyx tears
that drifted into my genetic code
air spiked with guilty poisons
I could not subject a life
to school shootings, orbital debris
global warming, dumbing down
to me
Even if I ached to
in all my selfish wonder

I will never be a part
of this everyday miracle
And I will never know what
I put you through

I cannot fill the void in you
By creating another
in me.


Wisdom from the Willamette

I am a river.

I am a shimmer of placid waters
Rapids rough with strength and rage
I am depth beyond your comprehension

Your damns will never be my cage
I am a current with the swiftness
To break your instinctive will

I am gentle, peaceful wildlife
And the bears that hunt to kill
I am flowing, swirling, crashing,

Through mountains, cities, wars
I am the sunny afternoon
In which you melt and splash outdoors

I am battered limbs and branches
Drowned in the violent storm
I am broken glass and beer cans

From your ever-careless form
I am wildflowers by the banks
And ripples from driving rain

I am rusty fishhooks long cut free
Just shards where shells remain
I am a mirror of the bridges

And the face you see reflected
I am bodies plunging to their deaths
The world so unprotected

I am the props that motor lazily
The rocks you skip indifferently
I feel when each one sinks into me

For I am a river.

H. Malone Graye