Craig Wisner

Archive for September, 2016

Untitled (Death Comes Easy).

Death came

in raccoons last night

finding an open coop

and my favorite hen.

she lay there

a bloody stump

where the head once was

and when we turned our eyes

to grab for something

to fend them off

they carried the body

over a wall

onto a garage roof

and I watched them eat her

-blood on their faces

while they watched me

I went for my bow

to exact revenge

-stopped by visions

of a gut-shot

screaming animal

dying in the neighbor’s yard

at 3AM

No use

death is death

the fault was mine

and it seemed unreasonable

to kill a raccoon

for being a raccoon

death comes easy

light in the eyes

fading fast

-death comes easy

the living

left behind

with the curse

of wonder

Our last hen knows

she’s following us now

lonely and cooing

not wanting

to go back to the coop







Tea with Ryōkan

I packed a bag

this evening

included some tools

to cook tea

and strolled up my home canyon

slowly, slowly

stepping aside

for hurried people

scaring the birds

into silence

whenever they passed

(if you take your time

sit still

the chatter comes right back)

Ryōkan and I

reclined by the creek

sat in damp gravel

boiled some water

and soaked the tea

picked our noses

while the woodpeckers


and the mockingbirds

cried like monkeys

pale clouds

stretched thin in strands

slipped past the canyon walls

recent rains

softening the world

dust retreating

into soil

the leaves sighing in relief

no tracks here

just ours

and those of a few deer

There was a small patch

of miner’s lettuce

beside the water

delicate green heads

pushing up through the mud

on the bank

I was going to pluck it

and eat it

when I decided

we weren’t so different

that this evening

was probably as pleasant

for miner’s lettuce

as it was for me

So I let it be.


let them convince you

that sipping tea

by a creek

on a Monday

isn’t important work.