2 Poems by John Hicks

GONG

Thonburi, Thailand

Before sound
its metallurgic secret
heated orange-red,
and poured into a mold
to seed one pure note;

before tuning hammers
strike the right spots
to sooth dissonance
and reveal the tone;

go down a crooked lane
near Samre Canal,
and find a smoky workshop
in a cement courtyard
with jacaranda shade,

and a lean, middle-aged man
in undershirt and khaki shorts,
his corded arms and shoulders
working swirling charcoal smoke
to create the rough note
he will cool in the rain barrel
before leaning in,
listening

in the violence
of his tuning,
for it to be ready,
to send across the river
to the shop near the Erawan,
where one day its note
will find the sweet spot
between mind and spirit—
the spot that resonates.

I WANT TO GO TO THE GREEK ISLANDS

where sea and sky and earth
make shorelines gruff
as trees married to them;

where Odysseus returned at last,
his monsters stilled;

where work does not define;

the place where blue lives;

to restore myself
with olives, grapes, and rough bread.

About the contributor

John Hicks is an emerging poet and has been published by: South Florida Poetry Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Bangor Literary Journal, Blue Nib, Poetica Review, and others. He writes in the thin mountain air of northern New Mexico in the American Southwest.

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