Thomas Alan Holmes
The last time I stood in the pasture, clover bunched
to my midshin, and bees were busy, petaled puffs
of clover bobbing when they clung to blossoms round
as life is round, the egg, the eye, the open mouth,
and I was calm among the bees, the clover bunched
midshin, and I could smell the beeves across the stream
that curled from underneath the hill, a cave as low
as half a room, the water cold enough to blue
my feet in minutes ‘til I climbed to find relief
among the sunny bee-filled clover, lowing beeves
as drowsy as the bobbing clover blossoms clung
to almost lovingly by bees at work as I
would stand to watch the sky vault blue, the subtle drone,
the lowing, bees on clover blossoms bobbing low
as soft as warming earth I pressed between my toes
as they dug in like tendriled, hungry roots to home.
Lost Pasture previously appeared in Kentucky Writers: The Deus Loci and the Lyrical Landscape (The Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society, 2016), Matthew Nickel and Daniel J. Pizappi, eds.
Thomas Alan Holmes, a member of the East Tennessee State University faculty, lives in Johnson City. Some of his poems have appeared in journals such as North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, and Appalachian Heritage, and his recent scholarly publications include analyses of writers such as James Still and Charles Dodd White. With Jesse Graves and Ernest Lee, he co-edited Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston (University of Tennessee Press, 2016).