“Before the plague…” — Subhaga Crystal Bacon

Golden Thread

Before the plague, I was a string saver.
Whole drawers of different lengths 
and weights; twine, raffia nylon, 
cotton. Today, a magazine came
wrapped in brown paper and twisted 
thread of yellow and white. It was cross 
style, wrapped around the length 
and then, with an x, around the width, 
knotted on the front with a bow. 
The knot wouldn’t give. My fingers 
too blunt, and teeth, well, you know, 
be careful what you bite. I thought it might 
slip through itself, like that rabbit coming back
out of its hole, but it snapped, one small
piece, saved from the rest. Time 
will come when open things need to be closed, 
a bag, a box, this life.

Art: Untitled III, Jamie Dedes ©2020


Dark Time: Why Were Their Poets Silent?

after Brecht

We huddle around the table
like early Christians in caves.
The sacrament, the Word,
before which all was chaos.

When we leave, we carry light
no matter the time of day
to shatter the shadows cast
by monolithic ways upon us.

Alone, in our homes, rooms, 
chairs, we kindle new fire 
from old ideas. Our lines—
our muses—singe our fears.

Fierce Wind

for George Floyd

George, the air today is charged with light. 
I breathe and hear your words seeking breath. 
Because I can walk, can breathe, I push 
uphill the hard way, steep and close 
with rocks, tight as my throat, closed and angry 
with words I can’t find the voice to say. 

Instead I speak your name to silent stone
older than law or hate. I say your name 
to the fierce living wind, sing your name 
like birdsong in waving grass, give 
your name to the endless sky that holds 
this weeping world spinning in black, 
star filled space.

The Woods
Painting
Tom Higgins ©2020

©2021 Subhaga Crystal Bacon
All rights reserved


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One thought on ““Before the plague…” — Subhaga Crystal Bacon

  1. I love the narrative style of these poems. I am particularly moved by Fierce Wind, not least because of its immediate relevance to what’s happening right now, but also because it casts light on so many issues of social justice and the difficulties we face to sustain our freedoms and equity.

    Liked by 1 person

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