Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Poetry by Gene Walker

The Flow of Morning
By Gene Walker

A crow does a drunkard's dance 
looting the weeds with assiduous eyes.

Her movements are sudden and fierce 
and a hundred feet away 
I hear the hunger of her young.

I see the quivering heart of 
the moth, whose dreams of immolation 
end under the soaring sun.

The flow of morning 
swallows up the sound 
of this machinery, and 
like this poem, 
does a drunkard's dance 
outside my window.

And though I have giant wings 
I stalk the weeds 
with this delicate staccato 
still caught in my throat.

By Gene Walker

The sun comes out in sympathy 
and lends me a face for the day.

It is loathsome and defiant, 
an old man's skin, 
misshapen and askew, jewelry 
dangling from my temple.

I have come to see the names 
for myself. Like the sparrow, 
tentatively, one and two at a 
time until the labyrinth is 

By night, they soar in 
the resplendent light of 
our lithium powered brains. 
Glowing like planets 
yet to be named.

I brought an ancient instamatic 
and my list of plagues 
but my name does not appear.

In this snaking line, 
I am just another 
former beauty, 
seeking self and sleep 
from a tiny capsule 
as my number nears.

So Far Across the Yard
By Gene Walker

Her father's tools have turned to rust 
while she was learning to die, 
her towering bones now crammed 
into heat – rotted boxes,
curbside for Monday morning pick up: 
fancy fruit.

A few have come to touch these too
ls, to tell us what he did to her

the heavy lead like hammers 
as big as the crates they lay in, 
empty wooden tombs 
now void of any instruments 
except a red – brown dust

The grime of life 
and living.

We are safe now, so far across the yard 
free to fly back to our, 
tiny, ten- fingered, little boy bodies, 
free to see the shapes for ourselves.

She has collected one of every leaf 
that has fallen she left, 
and still he is here,

his piercing insect eye 
squinting at the squatting wire body 
before him, my own shapeless little tree 
beyond the glass. His shadow 
seizes me, and even today 
his eyes are your eyes, and at night 
they are a myriad moving reflections, 
a fabulous guilded moon. . .

and I am his earth.

By Gene Walker

I cannot sustain your voyages, 
these corrosive mingling’s of 
hydrogen and oxygen,
seeking the green rivers of your blooms.

The ants in your throat. 
the carvings on your body,
your graphitied limbs.

It is the air that breathe
that is now stalking your longevity,
this vessel for my mind's plagues

Your waterless spheres are now collapsed, 
sunken in the enormous pressure
that now threatens your capillaries.

They too conspire against us, 
as we abandon our skins
to count our ribs,

with them,  you shall perish, 
without them, I shall

And as we jettison our empty and entangled nets, 
the last silver fish is blue again, 
searching the underwater winds
to tell his tale
to the gravity of silence
between us.

Gene Walker 1455333
Estelle Unit
264 FM 3478
Huntsville, TX 77320

Mr Walker was born in Houston, Texas. He later attended Rhode Island School of Design where he received his bachelor of Fine Arts and bachelor of Architecture in 1984. He lived in Boston and Manhattan after graduating and returned to Texas in 1998. His poem “Longevity” was recognized with a first place award by PEN America’s Prison writing program in 2011 and in 2014 his memoir “Feasts Beneath the Cottonwood Tree” received their third place honors.  His work has also appeared on and He has served 9 years on a 14 year sentence and will be paroled in November of 2016. He lives and works in The Woodlands, Texas where he is residential architect.

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