Bone Clatter

by Kristina Woodhill

Heart knows why bones are left behind
when oxygen leaves the room in a huff

Bones commence their clatter not to reclaim their skin,
tease it back on with some catchy drum cadence

nor to recover that corpus now down under
knocking on Legend's door

bones chatter loudly to announce
a heart passing its electric vibe

its thump, thump, thumping baton

offered to lazy winds
initiate of the diligent dirge

audibly marching
gaining in tone, bone on bone

knuckling down
each bone stick disconnecting
from that old Dem Bones' ditty

out of joint
out of body

considerate metered dirge
breathlessly adrift,

discarding ghost notes
discovering its street beat

wandering dog jumps
when bird beaks meet a shed's metal roof
with their own answering paradiddles

squirrels scatter
as phalanges riff off of tree trunks

freed heart beat
kissing air waves

sounding out open space
pounding on outer cosmos's door

echoing off heavy clouds
seeking its own thunder


Author's Note: A nod to Dia de los Muertos

Posted on 11/04/2018
Copyright © 2024 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 11/04/18 at 03:56 AM

No bones to pick with this gem, Kris. Really enjoyed it for its construction, message(s)...imagery.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 12/07/18 at 02:35 PM

I never could decide if this "dia" and all the cultural moss and art of it were thumbing their collective noses at death or if it was celebrating it. Maybe a little of both. Your poem takes several steps toward helping me make peace with both options. Then I went to YouTube to find out just what paradiddles are. That was an education in itself, just as your poems often are for me. But strangely paradiddles became the key to unlocking this piece for me. As always, Kristina, I am in awe of your gift, intelligence, and the breadth of life experience expressed in your work. Thank you so much.

Posted by Rob Littler on 12/28/18 at 09:51 PM


its thump, thump, thumping baton

offered to lazy winds
initiate of the diligent dirge

audibly marching

Posted by Rob Littler on 12/28/18 at 10:01 PM

...try listening to Echo's Rose, by Elephant Revival when reading this. da-la di-di da-la-da-la di-di... the Live at the Boulder Theatre one, btw. the track after that is Sing to the Mountain... which I know you can appreciate. All I know is that the day of the dead is a day for each of us... chew on that Now&Later, orange.

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