“and thank every hour” and “prayer” by nicole v basta

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Found in Willow Springs 90

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"and thank every hour"


the small yellow gods that are warblers
are skimming the scum at the top with their wings
and may all words be like the name of this bird
the mouth trampling over the tongue to make sound
of our naming, an honest attempt to do justice
to what has no concept of justice and thank every hour
for each breathing honorable thing not making a mess
of another, no crooked law or wicked judge needed
to mitigate wrongdoing—and remembering the wrens
the tiny eyelashes on the cheek of the field
and how these birds throw the eggs out of the nests
of other birds instead of building their own
and so is instinct, in a way, like a soldier
who follows an order from the top?
can you tell me please where is it written
how to forgive




no one is watching and then, i watch


a praying mantis ladders the window screen

and i don’t believe in mistakes


so my looking at the moment she shimmies

herself upside down, as i understand it,

is a kind of signal for a new year


one where when a dusty god in the lowgrass

nips at my ankles, it translates to kissing

to a welt in honor of pleasure


what i am trying to say is there’s some sort of heaven

in her triangle head


in the way she turns toward me

rocking as if weeping


how motion can soothe

how power can arrive on naked wings

without warning


i do believe in sequences

how things belong to sound and meaning

a place from which we can measure


mantis, from the greek word for prophet


i want to be the butterfly

in her mouth


a silence snatched from the air

2 thoughts on ““and thank every hour” and “prayer” by nicole v basta”

  1. Thank you. I felt as if I, too, were observing nature’s praying prophet, in a meditative moment about to be a beautiful butterfly….


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