Bruce Bond


So when the cross begins to tell its story
to the dreamer, it starts with the tree
it was, the axe that broke its trunk in two,
how it yielded to death as each new
child yields to life. And the whole glade
felt a little of that birth, that blade,
the drops of sap against the crossbeam,
albeit rubied in wonder now, in dreams
gone deaf to the real cries in the room.
But a child is in there somewhere hidden
beneath sleep’s images, inside the ear.
In the real wind now, come to listen
for a listener. Wake up, it says, I’m here.
And the live sound of leaves in the air.


The child is the father of the man
who is, in turn, the master of the earth
mover, this god at war with its burden,
gorged and gorgeous. Consider the behemoth,
the Lord told Job, as if the master race
of monsters, earthly and divine, might be
enough, not to reason the cruelty of fate,
but to bury one man’s cry in the beast
of another. Consider the bulldozer,
says the heart of the boy who longs to test
a patch of dirt, to strike indifferent nature
with his spade, consoled, empowered, helpless
to explain. Earth moves. It is no center
but falls in beauty through the still black air.


Bruce Bond is the author of fifteen books including, most recently, For the Lost Cathedral (LSU, 2015), The Other Sky (Etruscan, 2015), and Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Four of his books are forthcoming: Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, University of Tampa Press), Gold Bee (Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, Southern Illinois University Press), Sacrum (Four Way Books), and Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems (LSU). Presently he is Regents Professor at University of North Texas.