The dead man gathers the ashes of burned books.
Banned words turned into gray residue
hang on charred spines.
Mangled letters and vowels usurped
by hard consonants hinder reading.
Sentences without endings obstruct
a clear understanding.
Here dwell dangerous ideas interred beneath
When the dead man forages for meaning
he sifts cinders through his fingers.
His fingers smolder when he grasps an aleph.
A breath moves the ashes.
More About the Dead Man and Books
A wind carries seeds to fallow ground.
The dead man follows, as if drawn by the breeze.
He inhales and exhales in concert with the wind.
A spread of land draws the dead man closer.
Molten lava formed from ashes fills the furrows.
The dead man stoops and spreads the rivulets
glazing the land red.
He rests and waits for the harvest
for soon he will gather new sounds.
Linda Watskin © 2010
The Dead Man is a poetry form created by the poet Marvin Bell