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Laura Walker :: Four poems

psalm 101

when i close my eyes i hear
two birds and three
underground things.

nothing perfect
when you

look at us do not look
toward our meat or hands : we swell         
and jut : we unravel

just before snow. i go

nicked and wild, i look toward ceilings
and dream of falling.

nothing clings to me, nothing

to me.

psalm 3

the ants have increased.                     
thick black wobbly lines, stove to
cabinet to floor

when i sleep i dream
the ten thousand dreams, circle
of cheekbone and teeth :

i am not afraid of the finer bones
of the human head, nor the dentist’s
troubadour drill

faces   broken   tiles

psalm 99

you are a foggy
pillar, a smokestack
of grass, a turning
away of red and need and

if we break and look up
we see the cloudy horseheads

and each year throws the same dull paper
onto the fire, codicils of scrap and
symptoms we cannot read



psalm 1

do not walk with them

nor sit at the table

but by the trees

                         the trees plaited by the river

                                                  whisked leaves and surface       again and again

                                                                        the wind

                        sweeps and flowers

Note on the text:

These poems respond to individual psalms from the Book of Psalms, King James Version.

Laura Walker: I am the author of five books of poetry:  story (Apogee Press, 2016), Follow–Haswed (Apogee Press, 2012), bird book (Shearsman Books, 2011), rimertown/ an atlas (UC Press, 2008), and swarm lure (Battery Press, 2004); and the chapbook bird book (Albion Books, 2010). I live in Berkeley, California, where I also teach. More information, if you’d like it, is available at

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