Poetry: Selections from Tohm Bakelas

i hadn’t given much thought about it

in the tree shade 
outside the exchange 
cars pass by
as poems swirl 
amongst june leaves 
in the spring breeze. 
sometimes it is this way. 
new jersey doesn’t know 
much of anything else;
seasons change 
without escape,
consistent diners 
with all night menus…
autumn provides minimal reprieve 
while the sun claims everything else. 
some day i will die here, 
will any of this even matter?

springtime in denville

out by the gully
we tossed dreams for
quarters and conformity—
i still walk the water bank
following fox prints and feathers,
wading through broken memories
of lost love and dead friends.
i chase skybirds along
invisible migratory lines
and sift through silt of
conscious thoughts
and cracked teeth
ghosts fuck with my senses
and i feel all their love in me
my home town burns on
as the creeks run dry
it is 5:12 in the evening
and i’m drunk in the sun

chasing the black sun
like sparrows
in retreating

these days
have become
so much longer

the night passes
under neon wounds

all roads lead somewhere,
to some place not here

time unfolds and
memories fray

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 17 chapbooks and 2 collections. He also runs Between Shadows Press.