Collected Poems of the South Sound by Burl Battersby

On the Way to Tacoma


People run to get on the bus
like rain will burn their skin and they will be saved
if they sit down beside us.


The driver enables this, though,
by opening the door to let them in and their wet things drip
as they pass down the row.


Instead of picking up speed
the bus stops and starts again and this makes the driver
a happy man indeed.

Now that we are finally moving along the driver seems as unhappy as we were when the journey was young.

The End of Summer and the Start of Autumn

As the days begin to change
     the mind of the poet
         comes up and crosses the page
               seeking faces in the fallen leaves.


               Hard dry ground soaks up soft rain
        and the very old trees begin to groan
    as if they have held up the sky
all summer long.


It is time for the poet to find
     solace and spectacle in the sky
         beside the restless gulls roaming
              the far ends of God’s design.


Blind Man


The blind man white hair, wrinkled hands, and refined grace
sits listening to the sounds around him
with a profound smile across his face.
The dimensions of his world categorized from memory from the senses that remain
create meaning for him that no one else
can appreciate or explain.
Burl Battersby was born the morning after humans traveled to the dark side of the moon, in the month that the Doors released “Wild Child.” He has been a unique specimen ever since.