Poetry by Maxwell Redder
Lifting the large rock, smooth
with a few dimples like my grandfather’s face,
I found positivity living in the mud under it:
Worm-wiggle squirms, needle-toothed beetles,
and karma-dowsed larva
mingling in harmony.
I’d tear down a building
With a hammer and teardrop
And move the piles of rubble
To the ocean with a teacup
For the chance to build a paper mountain
Seen from all of Ohio
Inside, the worlds gold
Illuminates an eerie glow
So night time is never too dark
For the sullen citizens
Lost in the heart of Ohio
No one knows the source of the glow
No one could climb my paper mountain
No one could rub its tender fibers
No one could plant a troubled shrub
No one could pray from the top to a listening God
I’d tear down a paper mountain
By chewing it into sticky pulp
And move the piles of waste
By swallowing it all in a single gulp
For the chance to hear a talking God
Scream for all of Ohio
That gold is a gift like freedom
And using it ill is a snail
Born fast but never seeing
That the past is a burning stair
Pushing our slimy steps
Forward with or without regrets.
Her friendly eyes glanced toward me
Filling my pale in her pasture’s creek –
As the breath of a million people breathing
Forces the grass to sing and sway
From over the hill to over my way,
As I gaze around and wonder:
What type of man does it take to persuade
A broken woman to rid of her shame?
Should I sit on down and wait?
Her chalky soul smears like coal
And her eyes become a wicked old bowl
Of glances made for winter.
When you know it’s so cold that roses fold,
Their thorns become rubbery gold
Dulled down and afraid to splinter.
Her friendly eyes turned to winter rye,
Protecting all the crops inside
Her body, her blood, and her posture –
Glancing at the pastures snow,
The only thing moving is a mother doe
Spooked from a million people gasping.
(And) the two became one in their fear to run.
Their fear to run is safe, my son,
because there are millions of people breathing.