4 poems, by William Rieppe Moore

Glen Ayre, North Carolina

My life is revived like a blade
of grass by a drop of rain,

skin cells, no less, by a human
touch—in a word, electric. I turn

at the thunder and wonder if
it will come a waterfall like

Laurel Fork, where charged ions
float to our skin and draw

forth the opposites of them—
a brief reprieve from a curse

akin to fate. Roddle ol a day.
Hedged by wild indigo and mint,

weeds called, Waving in the wind,
I turn again to watch photon

flesh transform into a synthesis
of tiny fronds with waxy skin

from a seed, givin’ grass new life,
that turns to roots again.

Tom Town, Tennessee

Mam used to say, We’re just a few
generations away from them who

knew better. Si Owen knows, but
visitin’ the hospital keeps him

busy enough, and sure enough,
Si wouldn’t be caught dead

there before the squamous cells.
Where the mercy of a mother

is in the secret of a child, I’ll fix
old ways in place, come sun-

shine or gully washer, like the one
that tumbled the flyin’ squirrel to

the u-post with shucky-beans in
dirt leghorns like to bathe in.

Ol’ timers knew better ‘n to kill
a hog without keepin’ to the signs,

knew better ‘n to quail in fear
any other place than here.

Marbleton, Tennessee

It got so warm last winter, Si’s
seedcorn sprouted on cob.

We might as well have known
since woolly worms had grown

brown bandcoats. The shoots
urged the corn’s walls to bloom

like a bank of land fell away un-
retained—unstayed, like that hill

behind the Ole Mountaineer,
that knocked the buildin’ over

to make the upstairs floor fall
by the greenwood sidey. Can you

believe they let those 2nd story
rooms out: they turned into

a cantilever? To stay, from the
ancient word for to situate, spurs

me to see the land settle with
the swift tide of an eager seed.

Delmar, Virginia

Fodder shocks line Siam roads as
maize remnants of recent yore, that

rustle in breeze when sap recedes,
though their species had become

so much more than champion
stick weeds they mirror now.

One shock had a booger-lookin’
doll that could keep the scare-

crow’s off like the doll nailed
by the hair inside the door

to the woodshed. That doll
warned the silence, In London

there lived a worthy man, as worthy
a man as ever was known…

That doll was a troll to my
young eyes, but now’s nothin’

more than a joke. It no longer
has the words that prickled me.

William Rieppe Moore, originally from South Carolina, has called Unicoi County, Tennessee, home since 2012, where he and his wife, Cherith, are devoted to homesteading and animal husbandry. He achieved his MA in English from East Tennessee State University in May 2021 and is a published writer, with work featured in publications such as Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, the James Dickey Review, Still: The Journal, Vita Brevis, and Tiny Seed Literary Journal.