The Bellicose Vein | Bruce Morton

The Bellicose Vein

Which or why matters not.
It would be best to forget
The whole damned lot.
But what do you want to bet
That we will go for a rerun.
We will do as we have done,
Enlist the starry-eyed young,
Stack them like cordwood
Tight in the barrack bunks
Prepared to feed the flame.
We will play the patriot's game,
Wave the flag and sing the song
Fight for right and right wrong
And it will not be long, again, before
We exhume the past, bury the future.

Poem ©2022 Bruce Morton
All rights reserved

Peace #9
Digital Art
Dean Pasch ©2022

Bruce Morton…

…divides his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have appeared an many magazines, most recently  Grey Sparrow Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, The BeZine, Ibbetson Street, and Muddy River Poetry Review.

S’more Smoke | Bruce Morton


We sit mesmerized
As the fire builds, sparks
Ever hotter, we lean closer
Slide white marshmallow
Skewering ourselves
Turning tan to gold
Then black crisp
Goo pressed on graham
Cracked earth so brittle
Chocolate squares melt
Softening to flesh as we
Consume ourselves licking 
Our lips as heat licks us
Devouring, rhapsodic
As a blood-red sunset

Where There Is Smoke

It probably began somewhere
Else with a flash and crack.
A spark struck, then smolder.
Smell it in the air, nostrils flare,
The throat tightens, lungs burn.
The scent of pine, fir, larch,
And juniper gin up the hearth,
But there is only scorched earth,
The forest fast becomes torch.
Smoke pudding settles heavy in
Bowls, hollows, ravines, and rims
Mimicking morning mists, veils 
That will not lift until snow falls.
We cannot breathe easy, we hunker
Down, anxious, shut up in the house,
Worry about the kiln to come,
Ash glaze and twilight glow, urgent 
Evacuation orders. Go! Get out! Now! 
No time to inventory valuables or sins.

©2022 Bruce Morton
All rights reserved

Bruce Morton…

…splits his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have appeared in various venues, including, most recently, Muddy River Poetry Review, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, Wilderness House Review, and Ibbetson Street. He was formerly Dean of Libraries at Montana State University.