Poems By Tom Cleary

Red Sea, White Stone


The fertile clay through which our bodies dwell
in river bottoms laced with stone so smooth
once eruptive magma beneath Earth’s shell
shifts in landscape, broken earth, mountains tooth.

Gelid, glossed in oceans of driven grain
fed by seeds encased, hulls of riven rain
permeating pulse sets life aglow
viscous volume softens, begins to flow


Sloughing off our mortal cells, paper thin
we belie the self which dwells deep within
decayed, now dirt doomed, swept in swiftened sweat
this labored love of life to pay our debt.

Older now, our sanguine streams cooly blue
heated once with fiery lava’s furnace
paled skin and whitened hair now construe
ripe reaper’s route to aptly discern us.

Red in blood begins in mud.
White in bone reverts to stone.

Tom Cleary

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