H.S. Sowards is a graduate student at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, studying creative writing. A dabbler in all genres, poetry is his first love. A native West Virginian, he is devoted to capturing the tones and hues of his people and home place in his work and draws heavily on Appalachian experience, his religious upbringing, and his long study of the psychology of consciousness in his writing. After completing the M.A. at Marshall, he hopes to pursue the MFA at an Appalachian institution.


Lost for Words


Then, he sees Daddy, towering high,
devouring chicken bones before heading to Hoot Owl,
amazed at magic bone eating man, all powerful,
never noticing bones in the yard by morning.

Then, he recalls falling headlong through youth
atop the fire tower, five counties in full view,
and beers drank with friends, and Pink Floyd
and guitars, and joints, and talk of hot teachers.

Then, he remembers the way her downy
crimson fell across his bare chest,
enticing and fearful,
patchouli rising on a full moon Fall chill.

Then, he thinks of carrying Pa’s casket up to
the hill crown for hard earned rest, and how his eyes
wandered through the 23rd Psalm, mind too,
breathing in blue hills, hazy in the short summer distance,

unsure of beginning or ending,
only of distance and space and love which fills.



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