Dah Helmer

URGENCY

Buried beneath the roots,
the nether-region is a river
of dust, glass shards,
seashell pieces, aged minerals.

I hold a handful of soil
and hear the dead, like cattle 
herded together. They walk
barefoot through the dust.

Having forgotten the lilt
of their voices, I place my ear
to the earth, to the past, my heart
pounds like a wet mallet.

Death stands before us, behind us,
collecting the flying embers
of each life, and the days become
shut down by spent time.

At the end of every season
is an urgency: the harvesting
of old age, the dehydration 
of gods, miracles, twilight.
Dah Helmer is the author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books. Dah’s third collection is due for publication in 2014, also from Stillpoint Books. Dah lives in Berkeley, California, where he is currently working on the manuscript for his fourth book.
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