how many bodies     xxxxxx

Cameron Price


o damaged body

          my tree husk resting place                    walls of

                    bearded lichen dim as

green grave markers    lost in the        stomach of earth

how many bodies           xxxxxx     are there

                    with their names               carved

    on      xxxxxx            stones asleep in the          ground?

          we are risen into            stars at last           thick

                    burning light

          preserved immaculate    in

cosmic cathedrals                    cold and filled up tight


here come                      morning's blinding knives

          the rudderless ships of our hope                  draw close

on quivering wings    and lust

                    the                             promise of home

            instead they find

                  xxxxxx planets whose organisms had

                                          tried to kill the            gods

                    with                          chemicalsbombs&computers

                                                       now we weep with them







This poem was born out of an exploration of postmodern pastoral poetry. I would define postmodern pastoral poems as capturing the complex overlapping relationships that contribute to the preservation and degradation of the natural world. Necessarily this includes helpful and harmful human tendencies. I wrote "how many bodies   xxxxxx" as a response to these ideas. I recommend [The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral] edited by G.C Waldrep and Joshua Corey to anyone interested in exploring poetry along these lines.