Bill Christophersen


Chameleon-times-a-thousand with a bill,
teeth, tentacles and suction cups,
this full-rigged cephalopod can summon up  
the colors of a rainbow trout at will
or modify its shape to hide―or kill.
Now redeploying as a spear of coral,
now flattening itself to mime the floral
patterns of anemones, it trusts its skill
to fuddle barracuda on the prowl.
To hunt, it snakes an arm around the lee
side of a rock, or oozes through a reef,
decoying, lassoing, mantling in its cowl
the luckless prawn or sand crab.  Whoa!  See
its dark eye case that crevice like a thief?



Dream of the Sown Seed

I dreamed a moonless night, a ship at sea,
a cabin lined with claustrophobic berths.
It seemed a long time since we'd left the firths
of home―Mom, Dad, Granddad, me.
As the last watch tolled―six bells, three
o'clock―I rose to carry out my chore:
to read aloud a bit of the Gospel lore
that eased the sleepless sleepers through the wee
hours (for the dark hung heavy as wet wool,
never mind the lantern's amber pool).
It opened to the Parable of the Sower,
whose flung seeds went rolling here and there,
to be choked by weeds, thorns, rocks or to fare
well.  The blast tossed the ship from swell to swell.

Bill Christophersen has published more than one hundred poems in such journals as Chicago Review, New Letters, Poetry, Shenandoah, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Yale Review.  He lives in New York City and plays traditional fiddle.



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