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Sample Poems by Daniel Thomas


Lost on the dark and craggy path,
I listen as rain begins to fall,
its slow patter on leaves above me,
its cool wetness where it touches
my forearms, the lines of my face.
It interrupts the crickets
who have been singing as one
a helpless song to dusk.

Ash Wednesday

Two ragged lines, weary
flesh, inch
toward the altar, hands folded
in unaccustomed quiet.

With each step, we
chant, remembering
we are tree limbs swept
along the river's sheen,

dust layers lying on
the closed window's sill.
Tears well
from my wrinkled eyes.

I weep
for the grief concealed
in each person around me,
but also for you

and me, how we lose each other
in self-made misery,
as these dark ashes smeared

across our foreheads, there
for others to see, as if
they didn't already know us
to be transient, broken, human.

Awake Beside You

You have gone to bed angry
and I slip quietly in
hours later, careful

not to even brush against you,
because I am angry too.
Sadness soaks these sheets

until the canvas of sleep
collapses into a shallow shade
of black. Each of us hides

a treasure of grievances under
our bedroom pillow. Painted
into solitary corners,

we poison the parts of ourselves
that nourish the other.
How we waste our time together.


Where the mountain slowly rises from
the plains, I'm followed by a wild dog.
She is curious, but uncertain, nearing,
then backing off whenever I turn
to see her. I offer her a piece of apple,
but she will only approach if I look away.
So I close my eyes and wait, feeling
first her breath as she sniffs my hand,
then her soft, wet tongue, as she takes
the apple. Eyes still closed, I whisper,
"please don't leave me," but when
I open my eyes, I see her trotting off.
Why would one lost dog follow another?