Poetry: David Francis

* Author of the Month *
David Francis has produced six music albums, one of poetry, "Always/Far," a chapbook of lyrics and drawings, and "Poems from Argentina" (Kelsay Books).
He has written and directed the films "Village Folksinger" (2013) and "Memory Journey" (2018).  His poems and short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

We Fought the Dragon

I miss you—just because I miss you. Why?
I miss you because we fought the dragon;
you were near when my spirits were flagging
through all those nights we sang our lullaby,
even though not always explicitly;
you were Atlas when my hopes were sagging—
they let us alone—lonely time lagging
behind, the unknown from our hurricane-eye.

You, the anchor, the sail and the figurehead
blessed me through the straits and gave me a port;
I miss you and would like it if you knew
much more about my devoutness instead
of love’s life being like a besieged fort:
how I long to leave this place far from view.

Feelings from the Night Wind

Nobody should be up at such a time.
You sit in the backyard, dreading morning
and the slug of work with its trail of slime
looms, limiting fun, a laggard warning.

I sit beneath a Live Oak canopy.
The wind, like a soul force, a nightmare, neighs.
I must admit I so want company,
don’t know what to do with myself anyways.

The branches sway as dancers cannot do.
Clouds race across a theatrical sky.
The sibilant rides of cymbals accrue,
mounting to a crescendo then pass by.

The night wind excites our lust then calms us,
and no person lives up to its promise.


The city where you fell in love you claim
for yourself years later, for, after all,
you came alone not knowing you would fall;
and is a city liable to blame,
and have you not done penance for your shame
of not returning, decisions to stall
that made your vain promises laughable—
why must always these echoes be the same?

Besides, even should this haunting retreat
and the accusations like spears of wrought iron
beat themselves down into haymows and corn
like an instrument whose timbre’s forlorn,
the phantasmagoria of this siren
calls: “This city, of our youth, is too sweet.”


When I die will I turn into a cloud?
I have died so many times by ideas;
from both books and experience came fears
relative to what consciousness allowed,
that mind of a moment that wears a shroud
of time and distractedness that life sears
but does and did provide insights of tears
between which troubles and strange-steered loves crowd.

In the thick moldering of near twilight
when the lively gods turn into statues
and the febrile ecstasy is quite done
it is nice to think of tomorrow’s dawn
which will give light relief to the fatuous…
one will look up at a cloud and sigh, right?

Bus Ride

I think of you riding off in the dark…
your face is pressed against the window glass,
which is tinted and dark; then, sitting back,
you curl up, strain to see the things that pass:
first the backs of buildings, then the outskirts,
clumps of trees and brown tables made of cows
and, looking down at the shoulder and thickets,
fireflies flash like sparks. A wood-bone farmhouse—
exposed to the highway, nestled among
the reservoir, the silent barn and waves
of prairie grass where black barbed wire is strung—
makes you wonder at such different lives.

And now I lean against the café wall,
seeing you with the details I recall.

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