New Religion

Let this be my new religion:

this coming-up each morning of the light,

a green sprout straining for sky,

this quiet sigh of night
pulling on her cloak of jewels,

this coming-down of rain from clouds.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

-- Adam Kamerer

Young Brothers, Young Sisters

Young brothers and sisters,
gather round, listen
to the sigh of the earth,
to the quiet breath
beneath her muddy breast,
the day is ending,
our tired mother settles down.

We clamber up into her lap,
colicky children fighting sleep,
hush young brothers
and hush young sisters,
loosen your small fingers
from the green tangles of her hair —

I know

all our bodies hurt
but suckle quiet beneath the stars,
let her lullaby lull us down,
let her blanket us with ivy and petals,
listen to the sigh of the night,
to the quiet high breath
of the wind in the night.

Even nestled in the cradle
of her gullies and greenwoods,
even nestled in her cool rivers
and her sun-warmed dunes,
you stir restless,
young brothers and sisters,
and I stir restless beside you
the night grows dark, mother is still,

we lie sleepless beneath the stars
with our thumbs in our mouths.

Yes, I know

tomorrow we will wake wounded still,
fevered on our worries in the light
but listen to the sigh of dawn,
young brothers and sisters,
to the quiet breath
of tomorrow’s crowning,
a timorous promise
in a small clear voice:

remember wild children,
even broken you are radiant.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

-- Adam Kamerer

A Mile Scrap Mythic

In early summer last year,
we took a road trip
down some back Florida
county roads towards
a beach park where I’d drink
enough sunlight
to make my skin sick.

Somewhere in the miles
between home and the sea
we rolled past
the fenceline of a farm
littered with rust art:
tractors and tillers
transmuted into beasts

a rural fantasia
of aluminum dragons and dragonflies,
of sea serpents swimming loam,
wiregrass savanna where
a pride of John Deere lions
roar off flecks of old paint,

a black bull tackwelded together
from old cornbread skillets
scratches the ground and lowers
its horns at the road,

there a scrap tin rooster
hammered twelve feet high
struts gargantuan
held back only by barbed wire.

That evening, sunburned sick
and heat exhausted, I asked
you to drive us that way home
because I wanted to see
the junked menagerie again,

fuzzy-headed, dryparched, thirsting
I peered at the shadow and sundown
reflected in dark metal bodies,
I swear I saw them lope and slither
and flit away across the field
in wilted orange light

called maybe by their welder witch,
by whatever sower sorcerer
thought to conjure
alchemy and agriculture
together here
between home and the sea.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

-- Adam Kamerer

Forgetfulness

I tell you I love you
and then I forget it.

I tell you I love you,
but I walk around sieve-brained
and my days sift out of me,
powdered sugar memories
clouding off in the wind
with every step I take.

Today with you happens,
like yesterday with you happened,
and today like yesterday
I try to collect all the sugar of you
in a brown paper bag
and lock it in a safe,
but I forget
the combination to the safe
and I never owned a safe
and I never had any brown paper
and all the precious things
I want to keep safe
fall out into the air.

I tell you I love you.

The air dusts sweet again.

I tell you I love you
and then I forget
the words ever left my lips

so every time
I forget I love you
I tell you again.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

-- Adam Kamerer

Peacing the Dark

Come awake to sunshine,
stretch the sleep off,
step barefoot
into the kitchen garden.

Call hello good morning
to your bottomless black pit.

Laughing play fetch
with your many-toothed wolf.

Offer a fuzzy peach
full of sticky sweet juice
to your writhing shadow.

This bright pretty morning
stroll among blooms and
trill happy nonsense songs
to the great leviathan
submerged beneath your ribs.

Your unsettling never leaves you
but some days it sits light
upon your back.

-- Adam Kamerer

On Bad Apples

If an orchard
produced this much
rotten fruit

they’d cull the trees
with hatchet and flame

grind the stumps to mulch
till the tailings under
and plant something else
in its place.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

-- Adam Kamerer

Pennies from Heaven

I find pennies on the asphalt
and on the hardest days,
now and then, a dime

and once when the world
was falling on itself
the bright disc
of a silver half-dollar.

Every time, I drop the coins
into the palm of your hand
and you drop the coins
into a jar of blue glass
and pay me for my scavenging
with the whisper of a smile.

I have come to require
this secret pleasure so often
my eyes are always at the ground.

-- Adam Kamerer

Beneath the Kudzu

After sixteen episodes
of true crime documentaries,
turn off the television
and then stretch your legs
and go for a walk in the woods.

Stride beside fallen timbers,
beside fern and poison sumac,
skirt the ridgeline
of a gully and a pause:
kudzu spills into a bowl
scooped from the earth.

Feel the shadows tug
your eye to the green hole.
Feel the shadows tug
your foot to the brink.
Teeter and catch yourself
peering for bodies and bone
beneath the kudzu.

Do not hurry past.
The kudzu wants you

to peer beneath it
and even if you do not
find the murdered bones
of a missing life,
you may find the home
of a coal skink
or a kingsnake

or you may find nothing

but your held breath
but your blood in your ears
but yourself
imagining your body
laid down beneath the kudzu.

-- Adam Kamerer