Two Poems by Carey Jobe

The Creek’s Stones

No neighbor’s surprised Stone Creek
is threading the needle’s eye of August
aridity. As for weeks, parched cirrus
gauge the sky’s depth, rain’s delay:
Minnows trapped in shrinking puddles
probe edges, catch the colors

of the pebbles, crawstone oddities
littering the shambling creek bed
—quarters in banked spits, pennies
brimming wishing pools. Could a trickle’s
persistent drollery planish
their dented disks? I pick one,

a wet, hard smoothness. Brown-milky
seepage soon heals the scar.
Uninteresting, a drab wart-gray,
it denies my reflection, the drought
that strands it, even—a fossil
of blue Devonian bays, white beaches

kilned to bedrock, now resuming its
nature as sand. I toss it—clack!—
scan the creek. As if thrown years,
it’s vanished down this tributary
of things going unnoticed, to surface
randomly as a childhood memory

polished smoother. Could Stone Creek
erode them all? How?—Wet pebbles sprawl
under glazing sun, each a shape
partly resistance but mostly
acquiescence, like a mind’s
travel from rough to rounder.

Fear Under No Moon

Thieves’ Night, a moonless night.
Leaves crumple softly in my black yard.
I overheard,
listen hard:
a dog trailing some scent of fright?
cat on a bird,
or what?
Imagination’s lighted match,
and I forgot
to turn the deadbolt, latch…
Night fear, I’ll say. My mind’s dream play
with whispers, not…
—a watchdog’s bolted cry!
Houses off, but clear. By the pillow my
eyes go wide,
go blind. I am warned. Listen! Beside
the wall—the whistling corner sweep
of wind? Yes, wind! Still, I
won’t sleep…
Someone is outside. Someone real
at a task that ends before sunrise.
His owllike eyes
at my windowsill,
transfix me, chill
terror glistening like a spark
along my spine. No scream in the dark
is so truly fear
as this quiet nearing on moonless ground,
all things I hear
in a glimpse of sound.

Carey Jobe is a retired attorney and judge who has published poetry over a 45-year period.  His work has recently appeared in The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, and Orchards Poetry Journal.  He has published a collection of poetry, By River or Gravel Road (Aegina Press, 1997).  He resides in Crawfordville, Florida.

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