“dead girl rising” by John Wiley

sudden, she stands in her grave
eyes overflowing with grace,
awed by the power
in her angelic shoulders,
and instead of wings
two harps unfold from her back,
spread wide, reach high –
with one almighty stroke
she mounts the sky
with whistling speed,
sky after sky,
wind through strings
making deep music, arpeggios
bursting with every beat
of her rippling wings,
and she sings;

how she sings…

and, hard by earth,
we stand in respect

as this heavenly girl
fades from our sight,

listening as her last,
precious notes

drift slowly down
and away,

like dandelion seeds
blown for a wish.



John Wiley started as a ballet dancer and turned to poetry when his knees finally gave out for good.  His work has appeared in Terror House Magazine, grand little things, and The Writing Disorder among other publications.  He lives in a California beach town, teaches English online, and is the editor of Unpublishable Poetry, a new online magazine coming out soon.

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