"in god's world"

May 25, 2015

questioning gods and wars
are acts of treason.
hell is the reqard
for questioners;
prison for not playing
by the rules. not
doing what you're told
can get you killed
in war, and isn't it
more or less always war
in god's world?

don't be deceived
by snakes or moles.
come inside the temple.
the exterminator
will keep you safe
from the vermin
out there who scratch
damp, fecund dirt
and wallow like swin
in their own
sweet pungency.

take your questions
into the rooted ground.
you say you want to be
alone and know what you cannot
know before the silence
you relish, that void
you can't imagine,
shuts your sneering
mouth for keeps.

in a hundred years
no one will remember
your face, your name,
but the questions
will remain.
they are older than the words
that phrase them—
old as rain.


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Credit R & R Publishing

In 1970, Mark was in a poetry workshop at his high school taught by an unknown Indian poet, James Welch.  A student of Richard Hugo’s, (Sir James) Welch (acclaimed author of Fool’s Crow, Winter  in the Blood, The Death of Jim Loney, and Killing Custer) gave Mark permission to write poetry in his own voice from his own life experiences.  He’s been writing ever since.  His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.  His first chapbook of poems, Something Inside Us, was self published in 1995, and a second, Circling Home, won the Scattered Cairns Press chapbook competition in 1999.  Connemara Moonshine, the first full length collection of his poetry, was published in 2002 by Camphorweed Press, followed by blue horizon in 2007 from Two Dogs Press.  War, Madness, & Love, a collaborative collection of poems with Appalachian poet Michael Revere appeared in 2008, R & R Publishing.  Mauvaises Herbes (Weeds), a bilingual translation of his poems into French, was published in 2009 by PROPOS2 editions, France.  His latest collection, Forgotten Dreams, from Foothills Publishing, 2012, also features the portrait photography of Lee Nye.

Mark established Blind Horses Press in 2011 and is currently working on editing and publishing a collection of six poets.  He lives in Missoula with his wife, Pam, and their two cats, where he teaches poetry for The Missoula Writing Collaborative, The Montana Arts Council, and The 406 Writers’ Workshop.

"in god's world" was published in War, Madness, & Love.