Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Category: Poems (page 2 of 24)

Poems written by me.

Twelve Paper Vessels

Twelve paper vessels, lavish in design
floated down the flooded street

the other night. Each one bore the false
teeth of a good lie as they floated past

in the storm’s runoff, singly and in
groups, committees of gnarled words

settling into sentences. What time was it?
When did you leave? Do you remember

that day? These are the things I’d ask
if tongue and teeth and pen were still in sync.



PAD 15: Use 4 of 8 from a Word List | This Is Not a Literary Journal: Visit Peake’s Prompt Generator

Both gave me lists of words. I used some.

There once was a young man from Georgetown

there once was a young man from Georgetown
who went through his life with a frown
so he brought home a bear
and let it live there
but old Smokey soon burned the place down



Got hung up on the limerick thing, I suppose.

Limericks for the Remaining 2016 Presidential Candidates

did you hear about Senator Sanders
giving speeches condemning the bankers?
he waves both his arms—
he sure has his charms
even as to the hipsters he panders


along came the Donald named Trump
whose campaign was a fire at the dump
with so little conscience
he incited raw violence
while doing improv out on the stump


The R’s final hope standing was Cruz
campaigning like he thought he was Zeus
outlasting all foes
puffed up his ego
and soon it’ll be us that he screws


Secretary Senator First Lady Clinton
with big money and power was smitten
when threatened with jail
she released her emails
and as always claimed nothing was hidden


take a look at old Governor Kasich
working hard not to appear too caustic
mods seem to dig him
though with chances so slim
he’s scarce worth the time for this lim’rick

This is Not a Literary Journal: Limericks

Until today, I had never tried limericks. This was fun.

sometimes coyotes

sometimes there are coyotes
all around the house

they bed down in the front yard
in the trees and behind my memories

asleep with one eye open, stars
twirl the pole counted and known

they’ll rise and howl at owls, the moon
or anyone else impersonating

strangers who come up to the yard
they stalk a defensive perimeter

while we sleep while we dream
they open the fridge and eat

the last of the girl scout cookies
a little whipped cream for their coffee

come morning they’ve gone, a few
paw prints in the dewy grass


Not a Literary Journal: Ode to an Animal | PAD 11: Defensive Poem


we inspect each bug
the blue magnifying glass
makes us scientists


the fossil sky is a thick blanket
fog rolled in from the bay
the trees have disappeared
muffled birdsong drifts in waves
the sea is so close
other continents just a stone’s
throw away skip away
I’m invisible until that stone
thunks into the tide and sinks
down to the seafloor down


PAD 9: Hideout Poem

After the Show

we spent twenty bucks and two
hours to see a movie that showed
only things

we already knew about
urban blight dark corners
love magic and the way

popcorn smells after it’s
been stepped on by
two hundred shuffling feet

black birds land
on a chainlink fence rattling
so faint it could be your failing

the ambulances were so far away
they couldn’t come in time


and she said the waves would come
the way she said the stars were gone
beyond/beneath were synonyms
and for once I listened and believed

how was it that we found our way
in imaginary boats
across this sun-flecked sea
where she said sharks once lived
beyond horizons and beneath the waves

ocean curls waves foam
sand toes sunk deeper down
lifeguard flags snap warnings of sharks
and wind and high concentrations
of bacteria washed down from floods
two days drive north of here

how was it that we found our way
how was it that we found this sea
how was it that we knew the stars
how was it that they led us home


Not a Journal: List Poem about a Body of Water

sulphur butterfly
stone skipping across the sky
wind and highway noise

Dear ladies of the Mothers’ clubs

see your son

see your son
a gun in his hand

belt of shells
around his waist

disarm that boy
teach him—

find diversion
without annihilation


Erasure poem from a letter written by M.B. Davis of Waco to the Texas Congress of Mothers in 1910 regarding the widespread killing of grackles by children who were encouraged to hone their marksmanship skills

Source—“A History of Austin’s Love-Hate Relationship with the Grackle” by Andrew Weber on

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