Musings— Dave Shortt

Prana-Song from the Heartland

These clouds are earth-breath

cooling vapours, sighed intuitions,

road-idol meditations

at the peripheries

of country

pushed & blown by

grey lungs,

where carbon footprints

are left as trade-offs on land

where food fights originate,

and  where little panting devices

occasionally asphyxiate their hosts.

Bird-rap overlays

silent choirs of transpiration as

tunes honouring spring mud

stuck to beaks while

cloud-patches help mend


then the breathing de-industrializes

as if in answer

to a prayer,

the clarity

of it,

avoided by any evangelistic


the diaphragm of the horizon

separates a piece of earth’s breadbasket

from the pulses of

rainbows & stars,

a swallow accedes

to its own true colours

coasting over

a Christmas tree plantation,

which decoratively anticipates

renewable futures,

as when Strife held its breath

& Mind counted till

the first cloud formed.


Not soldier, husband, priest,

at the place where Duty was released

from parenting & backyards & the alien,

and then it was released from itself.

What then would serve

an abhorrence of unrestricted access

an envy of attachments non-skin-deep,

covered up by scribe bureaucracies in their myriads?

taxes & charities

and unapologetic abortions

are fingerprints of a burger-flip economy

where a dexterous poltergeist hides

just beyond grief

(it isn’t obligatory

to speak, but what if a word

or name slips out of the mouth,

ingenuous, agenda less

in the face of nature?)

in giving birth to its doctors,

the pure countryside confronted by human rights & privileges

accepts sanitation science

as an invention of the moon

exteriors chafe at the density of freedom,

leaving present activity aghast at the western imports

fingertips expecting to put ‘the good life’ on hold

begin tapping rhythmically from received devotion

invisible flights cross-continent

of beings followed by the private scarlets of Parvati

intertwine with the flesh of cacti & snakes

and with forests leafed out with blood-sport or ecotopianism

stations of eat & sleep, warmth & dryness

(along a path of class mobility)

stabilize careers sweating incense & cloves

fire ceremonies seem to portray

the hand of guilt releasing its grip,

or fear’s near-goodbye.

Someone rejects a tattoo session at the last minute

a late-night knock at the door

introduces a stranger alleging no problem

like a vedic tick eluding detection on a colonial body

poetry shows itself as an opportunity to share

(via the foul mouth of its discoveries)

with all that rejects it & its job from repulsiveness,

as it was fairly born into perishability,

having composted from silence

travel continues to bring them closer together

and closer to wealth slipping through their fingers;

a paranormal voice normalized by years of work

was telling which failings & which money

had to be dropped in the street & forest

water’s migratory indolence yields

to mists of contemplation of lovers aspiring to union

the same flesh & blood emerges from schools

as qualified professionals:

but if loved as amateurs,

how did they really get here?

recounting all their relatives one by one,

    ‘10,000 steps to success,

     10,000 years to no more feeling’

Dave Shortt is a longtime writer and poet from the United States Of America.

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