B. J. Buckley

Storm Grammar

Dust--a supplication--
Without a voice--to speak--
And then a noun--a trembling--
As if the sky might break

Rain--subjunctive weather--
Dependent clause--a cloud
Of luminous unknowing

Rose, Raven

Rose, raven, raven, rose--bright petals lying
soft on snow, snow white, rose red,
black raven, and the deer not dead
an hour, struck by a car, and the wind crying.

Bright drops the shape of scattered petals
lying across the heaped berm, where the deer
leapt and lost--crimson, scarlet, rose, a clear
vermilion. And raven, dark as forged metal

glinting in the sun: Black wing, talon thorn,
and the deer's belly full open like a blown
rose at the end of autumn: petals thrown
profligate to the wind, and its red heart torn.

for Tony Connor,
Feast of St. Valentine 2008


Storm wind. A roil of swallows, winged dark leaves
dropping from treeless air to drink cold dawn
from the pond's surface, swoop and scatter,
leaves again, summer's winding sheet, a shroud. Moon

hammering the sky with silver, moon greaved
and armored, its mouth full of dust. Water,
thunder, trees bent like fragile necks of swans,
and the swallows scudding across the moon,

torn sails, the ship lost, aground, abandoned.
Wind in the cottonwoods, in the silver
maples, moan, howl, mob roar, terror, a grief
beyond consoling: autumn, and the swallows flown.

for KN


B. J. Buckley is a Wyoming/Montana poet and writer who has worked in Arts in Schools programs throughout the West for over thirty years. She lives with her sweetheart, a blacksmith, three dogs, and a cat, in the woods of the northern Bitterroot Valley of Montana, in a cabin with no running water or electricity. Her most recent book, with co-author Dawn Senior-Trask, is Moon Horses and the Red Bull, from Pronghorn Press in Greybull, Wyoming. Her prizes and awards include a Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship; The Cumberland Poetry Review's Robert Penn Warren Narrative Poetry Prize; Poets & Writers Writers Exchange Award in Poetry; The Rita Dove Poetry Prize from the Center for Women Writers at Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC; and the Joy Harjo Prize from CutThroat: A Journal of Arts and Literature. She has poems in the new or forthcoming issues of Epiphany, Pilgrimage, and the online magazine HoboEye.


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B. J. Buckley
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Jane Sutherland: I choose subjects that I cherish, or that spring from deep rooted feelings, or that come to me intuitively--dogs, roses, cranes, an iconic work of sculpture; and I concentrate on the details and slightest disparities in color, tone and textures in order to show how extraordinary are things we think we know and take for granted. The process of painting for me is connected to the physical properties of the subject as well as to its meanings, associations, and memories.
32 Poems
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