Dear Friends,

On the eve of the birth of our daughter and the beginning of my fiftieth year I have gathered a selection of my poetry from the last twenty-five years into a celebration/book called THE SEASONS. These poems, as the title suggests, are loosely gathered around an architecture of the seasons. I began writing them in 1989, the year that I moved to Omaha to help start the Blue Barn, and they have been a kind of ever expanding love letter since that time.

Matt Mason, Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective (and kind man that he is), had this to say about the collection:

“THE SEASONS is a collection of meditations on home, heart, and the world we watch from a window in our geocentric universes, trying to figure out these planets and suns in orbit around us. Each season passes thoughtfully and wonderfully, with a splash of wisdom and a fine-tuned eye for joy."

I am excited to share this book with you and grateful to everyone who has read and responded to the poems over the years. I will continue the tradition of posting my new work here and in twenty-five years (or less) I will have book number two, poems inspired by family life, ready for you.

Warmly,

Kevin


Link to THE SEASONS







Timelapse






The moon’s white
moth wings
flutter by the
window 

above 
the warm
engine of
our bodies

flowering
and decaying
so quickly
in the dark.



























































.



The New Year



Detail of portico mural by J. Heineman


The feels like
is eleven below
and I’m out 
in my boxers
and slippers
under stars
helping the 
elderly poodle 
down porch steps.

The blossom 
of the universe
is petaled 
with fire
but I don’t 
feel that 
just now
as I wait 
for Lulu 
to 
     slowly 
                      pee.

Back in 
bed upstairs 
in our creaking 
house with
frosted windows
it’s a somnambulist
homesteader’s
square dance
as my family
annexes territory
with legs
and butts
and paws
reaching out 
in obtuse angles 
(Baby Willa’s by 
far the best)
until I’m relegated
to the northern 
edge of insomnia
where there’s
a dip  
a canyon
a spine 
bending gorge.

This then 
is where 
I contemplate
the nature 
of time

from this 
northern trench
at 3 A.M.
with one infant 
foot resting
on the back 
of my neck.

Lulu
bladder emptied
is happily 
wheezing
in the land
of Nod
and Jenny 
is silently floating
in a temporary sea 
of slumber.

Goodnight 
old year.
You could not 
have given me
one more day 
of love 
or sadness 
or joy.

I will remember
you with such
great fondness
at my death
when Time 
finally stops
and watches
me expand
then turns
and walks back 
into the disappearing 
woods.





















































.


The Bathroom





In the hundred
year old bathroom
with the cast iron tub

a man 
with a hard-on 
and a handlebar 
mustache 
soaks in red
tinted water
after a full day 
of slaughtering pigs 
in Magic City

he is reading
an illegal copy
of a serialized 
novel about a guy 
named Bloom
written by 
some Irish
smart-ass 
who lives
in Paris

earlier in the day 
a women
with a Polish 
accent secretly
washes out 
her blood stained 
clothing while 
planning the next 
women’s protest
for the vote down 
at the courthouse

the bathroom 
floor is now 
sagging
toward the dying 
rain forests
of the Pacific
Northwest

the water 
in the toilet
is longing for
a good
cup of joe

each night
after the little 
anarchist savior
goes down
my wife and I 
convene here
for a few brief 
minutes away 
from the rest of the 
crumbling world

we whisper to 
each other
while brushing
our teeth
and leaning 
slightly
toward the
outer banks

we whisper love
we whisper anger
we whisper sadness
we whisper fear
we whisper strategy
we laugh silently
we cry silently
we shake our heads
in disbelief

this tiny room
has swallowed 
a hundred years
of shit and blood 
and hair and skin 

how many infants
take their first bath here
in the past century

how many farts
have been birthed here

have any from the past
actually woken up the baby
in the other room
with the strength
of their utterance

I hope so

we stand
in bare feet
in this tiny place

we lean
eastward
every night
and watch 
our bodies 
slowly age

I love it almost more 
than all the other things
that I love so much

our quiet meetings
of exhaustion
in this slowly
tilting place











































.






Witherward






All along 
the river
the trees 
are shaking.

The ground breaks
away in measures
and spins off into
the sky.

Now people
are turning
and walking
straight into 
the six hands
of death 
and the Error 
unfolds
its legal
response.

Nothing 
goes 
unnoticed.

Nothing lives 
or dies
that doesn’t 
alter the 
direction of 
this vegetable
universe
or its 
mother.

In the forge
once again
a fiery
world
is wrought.








































































.


Morning





This
winter
light

the deep
orange
changing
to pale
yellow
above
the frozen
canvas
of fields

What
have 
we lost?
















































.


the poetry of Kevin Lawler

The gift economy . . .
from Wiki - In anthropology and the social sciences, a gift economy is a mode of exchange where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Ideally, voluntary and recurring gift exchange circulates and redistributes wealth throughout a community, and serves to build societal ties and obligations.


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