Divine Rights

Big Sandy's cemetery
skirts the west end of town

Flare of hill hosts the dead
and holds court over the flat prairie

Until the easterly Bear's Paw Mountains
overrule with their supreme power
any panorama in a hundred miles

Souls bask in sunlit appreciation
unknown to the flesh of farm life

They watch with detached retinas
relatives embroider the fabric of their beds
with threads from silk flowers

Respect for the dead as alive as winter wheat
that grows around the graveyard's edge
The Price of Exhuming the Dead

It's quiet enough among the stones
to hear the past, horse-drawn wagons

lumbering through the evening to unload
their strange cargo.
We're all fascinated

by cemeteries because we die,
and if strangers on the graveyard shift

decide to dig me up one day
and move me to the sleepy countryside

in the name of peace or progress,
some more hardy traveler

will stand here like me, trying
break down darkness

into its component parts, to imagine
the machinery and workshops it takes

to put all the tears and curses,
all the ears and eyeballs,

back in their proper place. Wondering
where day meets night in this city

of the silent, and who might appear

to prowl about in the rosy dawn,

his dignity undressed, not in the mood
pardon the sins of our shovels.
Ellaraine Lockie
Patrick Carrington
(Divine Rights was first published in Poetry Depth Quarterly.)
Patrick Carrington and Ellaraine Lockie are working on a collaborative collection of reactive poems inspired by the places in which they grew up, Brooklyn, New York and Big Sandy, Montana, respectively.

They initially noticed one another's work in Roy Foreman's (editor of Clark Street Review) online Saturday Diner group. They were struck by the strong sense of place each employed when writing about their hometowns, then by the contrasts and similarities between Ellaraine's prairie community and Patrick's urban environment.

They also became aware of how their writing styles reflect the circumstances which surrounded their upbringing and have kept the divergent styles intact throughout the collaborative collection.