A Parallel Uni-Verse
Be still, be still she prays.
Sweet-peas climb the twine,
four o'clocks, dianthus, sunflowers tall behind.
Crouched, still grasping the empty watering can,
she weeds the butternut vines,

muses on the tick tick tick of knitting in her classes:
yarn, wool, thread, felt,
hooks, loom, needles,
students intent on their designs,
sweet Norah Jones behind,

muses on a building site in Arizona,
her daughter tapping on a roll of plans,
and tonight she'll make butternut soup:
curry, onion, apple, garlic, lemon rind.
Be still, be still she tells her mind.


Thomas R. Moore lives in Brooksville, Maine. This poem is from his recent collection Chet Sawing, available, along with his first book The Bolt-Cutters, through www.forthemlockpress.com. .
In Her Garden
By Thomas Moore
With the butt-ends aligned
on the massive pile of last year's branches
and their mingled scents --
hemlock, white pine, spruce, red oak,

yellow birch, fir, rock maple --
I ram underneath a cardboard box
with birch-bark soaked in diesel
and strike a match, coaxing

till flames suddenly tower,
snapping like jibs in a thirty-knot breeze
of their own creation,
the entire pile passionate.

After three hours I push in
smoking butts with a rake
turning my face from the intensity,
and the circle of red-centered ash rises again.

Overnight it festers.
After two days it steams in a snowstorm,
the grey circle holding its own,
the center still lustrous

when I rake and pile the embers.
After four days a string rises
from an ant-hill aglow in the dusk,
the mingled scents still in the air:

the sour spruce
the ginger-sweetness of the fir,
the piss-oak's stench,
the white pine's tarry tang.



Thomas R. Moore lives in Brooksville, Maine. His recent collection is Chet Sawing, available, along with his first book The Bolt-Cutters, through www.forthemlockpress.com.
Brush-Pile Burning
By Thomas Moore
Mussels
By Thomas R. Moore
Locals don't eat mussels.
Scarcer soft-shell clams

are sweeter, have no hidden
pearls to snap a tooth. Cruising

sailors like them steamed
in wine and garlic in the ketch's

cabin with gin and stormy tales.
Maybe it's the simplicity

of gathering that makes mussels
valueless to some, like easy love.


Thomas R. Moore lives in Brooksville, Maine. His recent collection is Chet Sawing, available, along with his first book The Bolt-Cutters, through www.forthemlockpress.com.