Michael Dickel, IL




Free Verse


from The World behind it, Chaos




Three days ago, oats still stood in this field, tan and proud.

Two days ago, the man walked swaths; the oats appeared braided,
like Challah. Yesterday, the combine tossed stems in tangled rows.

Today, the man walks out through the stubble again: he confesses
weariness—drought in a dusty field—he begs forgiveness for all he has not done.

A heron silently lifts from the beaver pond. A pair of sandhill cranes chortle
as they rise from the hayfield’s boundary with the oat field. Next year,
the hayfield will hold corn, the other field will rest with hay. Even now, the seed
already sown down, the man sees grass shoots, struggling clover, green
amid the stubble, rising from a thin layer of chaff left by the threshing combine.

The husks return to soil; straw stubble shades the new hay.

The man lifts his eyes, turns a circle, sings a song.

The hay will feed the beasts,
as will the oats, as will the corn.

It is time for a change.

August 12, 1998




Leaping Deer


There is a snort just before a deer bolts:
if I listen carefully I can be prepared for the tawny flash,
a deer across my path, inspiration I can ride
leaping through brush and woods—
inspiration born of exhalation






The moon throws dice with shadows
and the winds toss hexagrams in dust,

revealing a lust for self, while
a sculptor's eye roves across the sea.

He never answered the post card she sent
of the mask; her celebration went uninterrupted

by chance or by the occasional glimpse
of sands which drain through small fingers.

The winds cannot apologize, sweeping away
the remnant of day in the evening rocks.





Read About The World Behind it, Chaos in the Book Fair



About Michael Dickel


Michael Dickel, a poet and photographer with degrees in psychology, creative writing and English Literature from the University of Minnesota, teaches at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dickel's prize-winning work has appeared in literary journals, art books, and anthologies for over 20 years. This debut book magnificently explores chaos & mystery. View his website.

This is Michael Dickel's first appearance in Sketchbook.










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