Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 2
Winter, 2010

Featured painting, Inside Concepts, by Tantra Bensko.

Featured Excerpt
New Works

Margaret Walther


Welcome to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Where water ravens rock to sediment. Our hands clamp onto the platform rail. This water scares us, if we're sane.

We all plunder/ are plundered as we move through this world. Our mouths, hands, bodies pouring out alluvium. You're only kidding yourself if you think you never deposit any sediment in the river plain where you intersect with others. Or if you think the bits of rock you release are, unlike those of others, sweet. Meant for the good, as a parent might once have told you, blowing you away, metaphorically or physically. Chant all you want. Live as a hermit. Even if you don't ravage others, you'll ravage yourself. Your mind, a great alluvial fan by the time you die.

But love, you say, love can conquer. Perhaps/ naught. Even God ravens. Read the Bible. Sediment is mine, saith the Lord.


You're in a music box store and somebody winds up That Old Black Magic. Something in your heart starts to scrape. Drumlin from an ex-lover? After glaciation, one must get used to a different topography. Boulders here, cobbles there.

A drunk, you wake up one morning and see all the debris you've left behind. The loss embedded inside. Your wife may be singing, Stand by your man, but her eyes are zinging a different tune.

So proud, a father, a mother. Avoided the terminal damage of your parents. But, it's inevitable, you're going to leave your own lateral, medial damage. You work too long, don't spend enough time and your kids are out on the street. Mama can't buy you love.

You might think you've delved inside, thrown out all the till, the glacial drift. Oooops. Blindsided. That Old Black Magic flings it right back at you. Landscape changes. Into each life, a little moraine must fall.

Coordinates of a Point

A gargling scream, drawn out. A barn owl advertising his territory. After Mother died, I saw her wrapped in wings, shaking off detritus, becoming less human. Karr-r-r-r-ick. In my dream, I cried out for her. She turned, opened her beak.

The mouse running over the floor doesn't know a barn owl's left ear is higher, more sensitive to tiny feet. The owl tips its head up and down to pinpoint. Coordinates, x and y. A swoop, wings raise to shimmer luminous angel. Claws extend, beak smears blood over the heart-face. The mind whispers, live forever, yet the body screams, ephemeral. Use me, darling, use me. Tip me on my axis. Co-weep. Make me gasp.

Cymbal Fantasia

holy shit! ruby woo roller coaster sister. slap that taboo. bottom or top? uh-huh! ouch ouch, spooky twister tart.

panther who? panth or no panth, I'm going to the party. pistol-packin' pink gonna whoa! high heel walk all over you. toot!

kabuki trill. kiss kiss, pierced nipple sinner! clang, clang, clang, goes the trolley. ding, ding, ding goes the bell.

a cheeky situation. two pigs tryin' to get out of a gunnysack! ooh, what a turn on, mademoiselle.

thongs, fishnet stockings a wee bit of purr pearls. cha-ching cherry! my chihuahua bites!

thick metal, slower. large, longer sustain. suitable for ride work game. yikes! fire below. shanghai gasp!

bling bling! someone slipping out of a strapless dress. flick those cymbals, scarlet charlotte. oui, oui, let me help!

Margaret Walther is a retired librarian from the Denver metro area and a past president of Columbine Poets, an organization to promote poetry in Colorado. She has been a guest editor for Buffalo Bones, and has won the Many Mountains Moving 2009 Poetry Contest. Two of her poems published in the online journal In Posse Review in 2010 were selected by Web del Sol for its e-SCENE best of the Literary Journals.