OffCourse Literary Journal

Three Poems, by John Horvath Jr.

Winter Morning

I have made death a messenger of Joy, wherefore dost thou grieve?

Dead leaves share themselves with dormant grass breathing transmuted air from treetops, eating the reconstructed soil from roots beneath roots. Grass cushions footfalls with fat blades stuffed with surface carcasses of things too slow to escape the cold. Ant business continues as endless shifts burrow toward wormlands.

Yes, worms enjoy the end of fishing season, love the ice packed on the pond, praise the frost, tell one another stories of fool birds outwitted and near escapes from drying puddles of summer rain shrinking on hot sidewalks.

We are happy here. Days pass without worry, without cares. We share what we've stored during our summers and autumns. No one complains except to silence mention of Spring. We are very, very happy here.

Join us.



In the Carpenter's Hands

Acorn and sapling grow
runic shapes in crotches,
hearts scratched into bark.

Torn from roots, from grass,
hewn long and flat, and straight,
crying from the dark forest.

Lying in bed maturing like others,
curing in juices; knots harden
into character; veins become marble.

Erect in sampling hands, remembering heights,
wanting to join in building a fortress
stronger than forest.


Sunday Snow

Daughter, you could not have known snow
before this Sunday marvel clothed
the wrinkles of the earth and drew
linen across your mother's eyes.

Look here, he says, there is green
grass growing where angel patterns
press against snow drifts,
soft traces of life in the cold.

She runs to him, the snow crushes
beneath her step, clings to her shoes.
Tossing snow, she laughs, "Father,
look how your hair turns white!"


Links to John Horvath's work:
Interview [ ] and Porcupine July, 2002;
Editor, PoetryRepairShop [ ];
Bibliography [ ];


Recent Poetry:
Greatest Hits 1970-2000 (Series #86) Pudding House []:Columbus OH, 2002.
Reverend Terrebonne Walker: a Dozen Southern Fried Poems. Artvilla Records [ ],
Illiana Region Poems: Harboring the Enemy. Zebooks [ ]
CONUS: the First Tour Chapbook, new and collected poetry of war
Ebookstand [ ]

His work has also appeared in Richmond Review, Rogue Scholars, San Francisco Salvo, Audax, EWG Presents and Ygdrasil.


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