apostasy among the tallgrass

apostasy among the tallgrass

A Poem by Kylan

and in the fields where the forget-me-nots
climb sideways, pious and succinct
with bees hanging like earbobs from their blue heads,
the minister composes a sermon and the cicadas
and scrub-legged locusts murmur blasphemies –
apostasy among the tallgrass.

the sun slides along the sky like a gastropod – on it's stomach –
and the houseboat snails ferry across the porchsteps
as mother kneads bread in the kitchen, which expands like the holy spirit.
she tells me that the yeast is alive – a thousand tiny grains
dehydrated creatures, which cluster like the white
membranous conclaves of ant eggs I find under the stepping stones.

the self-important clouds decay at a half-life
the brush of the wind gentle and loveless
and the men standing in the doors of the church as father
talks parables and scripture – he has not had a baptism in seven months.
it has been a dry season.

we hide under the eaves, in the shade after church,
like numbers huddled under a division sign
and father locks himself in his study to read the bible and to pray
as he always has these past seven months, praying for a baptism.
the trees stand waterless and black in the sun,
their leaves curling like lips in disgust
pageantry of the field, choir of the tallgrass

the dry mountain oversee us
like barons

and father's prayers evaporate from his lips.

© 2009 Kylan

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Featured Review

Let me just begin by saying, that I stopped reading after the first stanza to put this in my favorites. That's not something I've ever done before.

This is amazing work. It ambles along on long legs with a hundred quiet truths. So many phrases that struck me as brilliant, it's enough to make one a little jealous. If one were inclined that way. Amazing work.

Posted 11 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


What a beautiful read. I was transported to the porch as a voyeur .. Smelling the flowers, hearing the sounds of the insects and feeling the wind touch my flesh. The hope, the quietness of everyday life as it continues on its daily journey..Simply delightful.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I am revisiting this wonderful piece after a year away, and love it just as much now as before. It is, without doubt, one of my 4 favorite poems ever posted on WC. You are in good ranks, and I hope you are still writing somewhere. I have directed many people to read this.

I love the way you tell the story in metaphor and imagery, and the language you use has a precision that only comes with years of practice. You have the gifted eye of a poet, naturalist, and sociologist, in one. A very remarkable and rare talent. 98% from me!

Posted 9 Years Ago

Amazing and brilliant work!!!..i don't what else to say..there are such definite intricacies in this poem that it is astounding.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like this, as I read it the words brought a visual image. It's a great piece.

Posted 10 Years Ago

yes. I wouldn't and couldn't change a word of this. it is your world, and a world dipped from your pen. Your title is such a good hook that I looked for it to be repeated throughout the poem.

I really admire writing that paints worlds in the way that this writing does.
I mainly write about feelings and have never been good at bringing to life this nature and otherworldly stuff.

Well done.

Posted 10 Years Ago

GOOD LORD. I had about given up on this place, and then I'm rambling through trying to catch up, and Em sends me this GEM! This is what its all about. Deep, vibrant poetry with tone and timbre and words to be savored...wow. Impressive.

Posted 10 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Sun as snail. Snail as houseboat. Bees as earbobs. Simply too many extraordinary images to list them all. A positively breathtaking work, young man! Only one among them all troubled me, and it was probably not intentional: the post-service congregants, huddled under the eaves, "like numbers under a division sign". The Cross of Christ is too often a sign of division, rather than of unity, and that is the greatest Apostasy of them all! Well, done, and thank you!

Posted 10 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Brilliant. I would suggest to anyone who visits this exquiste piece to re-visit it several times. You have engineered quite a write here and I suspect the average reader will overlook your intent. You have drawn strong parallels, yet your words are laid with all sublety. I have amused myself with writing for many years - but you have taught me a fine lesson. Thank you for a masterful write.

Posted 10 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

You have done so well to conjure up the sense of the great world of Nature around the small world of church ... the hopes and ambitions of the minister, the busy application of the housewife, the indifference of the children sitting under the eaves. A wonderful composition. No wonder Emily chose it as a favourite.

Posted 10 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Dear Kylan,

Wow! Mature far beyond your years. Elegant words painting the matter-of-fact emptiness of life and the desperation of Man to find meaning expressed in fathers hopes for baptism. This reminds me so my of T.S. Eliot in feeling.

A brilliant piece. This is getting one of my extremely rare 98% rating and going into my favorites.

Best regards,


Posted 10 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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24 Reviews
Shelved in 11 Libraries
Added on July 27, 2009
Last Updated on August 17, 2009



Medford, OR

I'm a senior in high school and I came out of the womb with a pen in one hand and a notebook in the other. I have a complex relationship with poetry and fiction -- fiction being my native format, but .. more..

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