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(These two poems were originally published in "Block's Magazine", Spring 1997.)

Muskingum Hilltop

This April air soothes, liquid
at four in the morning,
when windows are dark,
sidewalks empty,
and the half-grown leaves
mutter gentle nonsense--
When the insomniac soul
ceases treading,
But the first false dawn
has yet to scatch
its faint pink expectations across,
the perfectly dark horizon.

Another Quest

And dawn comes with no revelation,
no star, no grail, no waking
freed from a dream;
no sleep-formed mist waits
for the sun to burn
illusion into epiphany.

The day wakes with no recognition,
no note of those who track
the night seeking
one scent of magic, one
spoor of power,
one willing god,
ready to barter souls.

If you have an interest in the drafting and revising process, take a look at the four drafts of "Muskingum Hilltop." The process covers several years of work and many more than just the four drafts shown. There's also a discussion of the process, changes in my writing and philosophy, relationships between experiences and the writing that comes from them, including "inspirations" that go back 15 years before the first draft. Sheesh. When did writing get so complicated?