“Digging” by Douglas Cole

09 November 2018 on Poetry   Tags: ,

I am digging my way through plateau clay
pounding with an iron bar and pic axe
lifting shovelfuls of rattling rock and pebble earth
alone out here except for Tony the neighbor
who works nights and will rise at two
and come over in his bathrobe and smoking
a cigarette to see if I’ve made any progess
or maybe old Joan will bring her shopping cart
looking for scraps of wood to burn
and I’ll warn her back and say not today Joan
because she must have stepped on a board
with a nail in it since I saw one bloody footprint
going back to her house down the block
I’ll dig through the afternoon
I have nowhere to go and nothing else to do
Paul Harvey telling the rest of the story
the old ones still lingering in the debris
and I’ll dig down as earth changes colors
and sky becomes a bright dime overhead
digging through years of evidence
train stations and apartment rooms
head colds and children and divorce
degrees and jobs and overwhelming debt
regime change and reruns and lightning storms
my hands growing old and bones breaking down
the blood dry and flaking and blowing away
with old Joan and Tony there at the gate
as I pay my way in with my dime of sky


Douglas Cole has published four collections of poetry. His work is in anthologies and also appears or is  forthcoming in journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Owen Wister Review, Chiron, The Galway Review, and Slipstream. He has been nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net, and has received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway. His website is douglastcole.com.

Abstract collage artist Dani Preston is a California native currently living in Lyon, France. Using scissors and paper to create psychedelic abstract compositions, her collages spill out tangled amoeba-like guts, spotted orbs and human hands. Titling her works Cosmic Jelly, she is expressing human connectedness as wiggles of life dance across the universe of the paper. You can find more of her art on Instagram at @cosmicjellycollage.

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