top of page
Image by daniel james


the madrigal, volume v

Among the Unnamed

by john davis

In the country of crabgrass
and honey I’ve outlived anger
only to have it boomerang,
recoil like a fan dancer’s hands,

fling my soul off the devil’s tongue.

Even trees fully leaved, descend
into nightmares of wind. Storms
invade the power of a pine’s pyramid,

erase the roots that hold centuries
of gravity and earth.

When I almost died, maybe a butterfly
gave up one of its stripes to save me.

No wonder that I marvel at the sphinx
of wings and the azure columns
that flash like broken mirrors.

Listen Doc, if you’re going to open me
with needle-nose pliers and pull out
growth, get to it. Mend what has ended
the way showers mend a country
when dry earth sings for rain.

ohn Davis is a polio survivor and the author of Gigs and The Reservist. His work has appeared recently in DMQ Review, Iron Horse Literary Review and He lives on an island in the Salish Sea.

bottom of page