Poetry: Selections from Tohm Bakelas

dead mantis

like the first baby i held, 
like the last late hand i touched, 
my left palm cradles the 
body of a brown mantis,
its limbs move in wind,
visible vestiges of extinguished life,
but it’s no good, 
the summer sun laughs and laughs,
and this moment is just a moment,
i tip my hand at death 
and it all falls away. 


frozen beneath mounds of snow
autumn lust sleeps in hibernation
and when spring 
thaws out 
the broken 
bones of 
everything rots in the sun 

sunflower ash
for Mark Anthony Pearce

much like my mother
your father died before his time,
both now ashes of yesterday
the books we read took
us away from loneliness,
far away from the sun
the slow drip of the faucet
leans heavy on the mind
sunflowers wilt into songs
can you hear the melody?

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 12 chapbooks and runs: Between Shadows Press.


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