Paul C. Howell
Closely knit loopholes

don't write things
unless they're green
or certain, soft or fleeting

and no astrophysics, please, or optics
though a girl can be nice
or flowers even weeds but no politics

leave that fatuity to us
we are strictly not for sissies
no casuistry or pseudology then

unless it be discourse -
so stick to your knitting of little holes
and leave the guns for the men

Wood Crumbs

      "Ich eilt ihr nach,
      ich las nur vom Boden auf jene Krume,
      die deines Auges Gestalt hat und Adel,
      ich nahm dir die Kette der Sprüche vom Hals
      und säumte mit ihr den Tisch, wo die Krume nun lag."
            - Paul Celan, ICH HÖRTE SAGEN aus Von Schwelle zu Schwelle, 1955

What do I fear? Fertile crumb
Splinter, steel against hardwood

Purple black sky, snap wind, good
Clean snow, feet and fingers numb

Armfuls of split logs, sizes of light
And heat the shape of chain

How this reading singes brain
Whipped by pellets of ice

Tiny sliver of maple in skin
Tattooed and throbbing and growing within