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Paul Ilechko

Stone Map


Stones are mapped with ink

on parchment     a quiet tracery

of lines that freely flow



in places     with brutalist crosshatchery

that tends towards a blackness 


and in-between the stones is always

an unassuming smallness of life

easy to diminish in a world of signs

of markers that claim the historic

the game changing     the ubiquitous

but never the destructive crawl of root

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

they’d left behind the war     two hundred

years of it     escaping by oar or fragment

of cloth that whips

                                  in the violent wind

that scrapes the plunging surface of the sea

alive for now     within this desperation


following the stone white map

to land in some kind of paradise

or else a cell     their bodies inked with


permanence     their papers now irrelevant

the knives strapped to their ankles

as they follow the marked out trail


always between the stones     looking across

at roofs and towers     a liquid environment

that mocks the dryness


                                           of their routes

the dusty fragments of life that are lived

in ink dark crevices     searching for a light.

Hawk Flight in Violet Snow

Imagine fresh snow     whiteness

to infinity      imagine it as canvas


where color might be spilled

a new art form     crystallized out of 


the stillness of molecules     how cold

must it get before everything halts


your windows gaze upon the blankness

in your imagination a hawk might swoop


across the emptiness of field

a rabbit is torn     its entrails scattered


like paint     a blood feud between

the elements of dirt     and wind


a poem is a painting where the gestures

are language     the word that stands for


flight is mixed with the word that

means kill     like blue merges into red


the same hawk     tearing a purple slash

across the width of sky     as the rabbit dies.

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