person Robert Knox, two poems

Robert Knox is a contributing editor for the online poetry journal, Verse-Virtual, in which his poems are regularly published. They have also appeared in journals such as Every Day Poet, Off The Coast, Houseboat, and Yellow Chair Review. His poetry chapbook “Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty” was published in May 2017. The chapbook “Cocktails in the Wild” followed this spring.



the scent of a first few drops of summer rain
on a world of hot pavement

the nexus of medieval voices
in universes of hollow stone

a stranglehold on a wire fence
by a herd of hungry runner beans

hibiscus, yellow-gold plateware,
insects sucking on butterfly bush blooms
purple as kings

the harvest-time betrayal
of the bee who stung me
and made me sing with pain


Words for ‘Prayer’

a stillness
a blank wall
on which nothing is projected

tricky seesaw noun clauses
on which two sides are balanced
causing forward, effecting away

Or, perhaps, a ‘collect’?
(pass the plate)
a grace? (before eating)
an invocation,
a word anciently used for the act of ‘calling’ for the presence of a god

A litany,
which may merely be a list of excuses
A ‘thanksgiving’?
Oh, that happens in November

‘evensong, matins, vespers’? — what lovely words
for the way the sisters’ voices join together
for a few transporting moments in “Call the Midwives”

‘Appeal,’ ‘petition,’ ‘solicitation’?
All these sound like going to law.
If I am ‘petitioning’ the Almighty,
I am likely deceiving myself about the reach
of judicial redress
‘Entreaty,’ ‘supplication’
I will reserve words of this sort for those occasions
when, God Almighty,
I am truly in trouble

Other such words,
‘conjuration, cry, desire’
and also ‘call,’ ‘claim,’ ‘request’
all sound like excited demands for attention
like the landlord’s angry “I pray thee, Lord Godfrey,
take thy hands off my daughter
and settle thy account!”

Not the way I wish to present myself
to the all-knowing, ultimately benevolent (so we trust; despite appearances)
solar divinity behind the shadows,
the great and powerful Oz beyond the little man
operating the gears

I’ll take ‘offering,’ ‘seeking,’ ‘contemplating’
in a state of ‘mindfulness,’
that last full cup of aspiration,
a synonym in itself,
serving as my current self-help reminder
for the state of consciousness
I wish to possess after giving a good shove
to the prayer wheel

Here we are
(as in the hymn “Here I am, Lord”)
hungry for attention


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