ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Don E. Thompson


Not much remains of the lamb,
though not long dead:
only unbleached-so-far
bones and
a sheet of vellum.

You wonder what you’d
write on it
that would matter
and what sort of ink
would hold up for how long.


Another Easter

Not least, the dust has risen,
animated by wind—
its own Easter.

Not a storm, an enormous
lithic cloud,
but thin enough to let

light through—
barely glittering light
like tarnished gold

mosaic halos in a derelict
ancient chapel
no one visits anymore.



The ewes’ winter wool’s
spectrum of despair
includes an impasto of
scat and mud,
a hint of bile, grunge
in shades no one ever named.

Sparrows would be embarrassed
to look so drab.

But the ewes ignore themselves,
unlike us, feeding
nonstop on stubble

and swollen with lambs
soon to be born, milk white—
briefly, until the world
gets to work on them.


Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. For more information please visit his website

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