Kevin Heaton


Summer sets burnt beet sugar on sweet gum
in the lowcountry. Honey bees craze candy apples

like flypaper roulette at the Lancaster County
Fair. I break funnel cake with a Pennsylvania

Dutchman, and redeem my soul to the psalm
beneath your bonnet. But you’ll return to the vale

of levitating hymns where you prophecy;
where pastoral brethren tend Granny Smith crisps

on old telephone farms, and passive shepherds
divine their flocks in spot or wrinkle baptism—

separated from the carnal by a hat brim.


Squall Lines

Sunshowers spit-shined the shark’s
tooth that gutted Kansas’ only diamondback.

You were just a puff adder feigning rattles—
scavenging rat droppings with field mice
in bales of switchgrass.

I want tallgrass.

I want a thunder god with flashes of ego—
a two-storied sod house near an artesian well—
flag-side-up roses.

Wall clouds that squall more than hook echoes.

I want storms made out of water—rain that doesn’t flinch
at dust—ballsy wheat—flaxen—fully-headed—two fresh
holstein heifers, & slow-churned farm butter.

I want forty ripe acres of Amish maize—two mules,
& a bullmastiff named Shep who eats corn snakes.

I want to break a green feather bed with a Dundee man.


Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including Raleigh Review, Mason’s Road, Foundling Review, Victorian Violet Press, and Amarillo Bay. His fourth chapbook of poetry, Chronicles, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012. He is a 2011 Best of the Net nominee.

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