A Leisurely Decline

From a riverside porch, I watch
rain roll down, spattering
timbered banks, stone shoals.
Breakfast is cold sausage and frontier biscuit.
I can hear news tv through an open door,
the phone in my back pocket
I hesitate to answer.
There are warnings through the day—
of patriot storms, Jesus collapse.
Dire works of providence seep into
daily discourse, lessons for the Sabbath.
I read online that angels block every gate,
transmit their suffering to
county rebel, conspirator, country preacher.

Walking inside, latching the door,
I close out the common benediction
that rough nature is striking beauty.
Like the calculation in
emptied eyes of power,
The tv view has changed.
Between medication commercials
comes invasion combat and commentary,
then a hurricane report, with
reporters undulating in the wind
like coastal palm trees.
Measures marked by cold decision,
there is a justice to it.
Ambition is climbing after trouble,
privacy bargained, crucible documents
changing hands in after-hours hallways.

As I close the curtains, I see
an ambulance speed the canal road,
siren lost to the distance.
Switching to music channels,
indie pop falsettos and droning beats
will carry the hours.
Above me all morning, I watched
the lights of descending airliners,
imagining crews fighting
to land in this crossing wind.

Turning out my pockets,
cell phone muted,
I collapse to the sofa, settle in
with Catton’s The Coming Fury,
ironic intent applied.

R.T. Castleberry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Vita Brevis, San Pedro River Review, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway and Dissident Voice. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, the Philippines, India and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: You Can Hear the Ocean: An Anthology of Classic and Current Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. Read other articles by R.T..