Alan Casline


on your steps torn branches from across the road

one and another in freefall

mixture balance a chaos effect

paid in lifesong and with difficult medicine

energy alive in everything

you look away undisturbed

not counting restless sums

blank expressions on neighbors

look above at dispersal

blue sky appears

lights the drying street

illuminates images formed from nothing

brightens memory’s engram

unshadows the store of things unlearned

frost field, wind ripple, drops on wet leaves

vision before action at city in the mountains

conflict moves us to different beats

dance supersedes pow wow

no forked-tongue mannerisms

straight talk on the hour

preconditions marked on speculative maps

all are equal

ingested dreams wear false mask

community close and trustworthy

tell them your uncertainties and of your faults

exposed throat with glitter of desire

pull out the tavern chair and your pocket notebook


Alan Casline is the editor of Normanskilla watershed anthology from the Normanskill watershed in New York State and is the editor of Rootdrinker a long standing magazine of watershed poetics, art and nonfiction.  As Director of Rootdrinker Institute, his efforts include running open mics and special gatherings for poets, producing the RD Newsletter and using Benevolent Bird Press to publish the work of fellow writers and artists.   He is co-founder and on-going chronicler of The Cloudburst Council, an annual poetics gathering held in the Finger Lakes watershed. He lives with his wife, Jennifer Pearce, in a suburban neighborhood outside of Albany, New York.

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