- Star Count
All the men here beat the bushes free of birds for their sons to pluck from the sky. Our dogs are too old to work these fields. The morning is already old. But I'm not ready to give up just yet on the grassy light rising from beneath our smoke and bluster. Too many stars left to steal from a child's palm. Because what follows is not always sequential. Or shattered. Some days the sky just has to fall. Some days we cannot stop ourselves from bracing it. Imagine the wind marching through us like an unconquered city. I'm trying so hard to imagine buckshot as constellations. I don't know how many dead birds it takes to empty the sky. [End Page 10]
John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, most recently Disinheritance (2016). A seven-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors' Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, Arts and Letters, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.