Elaine Wilburt

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Song For Those Who Can Hear Only Noise

The russet strangers
stressed not singing
picked up the chicken
as always
where significance
like thousands of others
the whitewashed dazzling host

Small-town crowing
has a still unbroken
a simple representative of sounds
a torch-singing act
to express
this threat

You have to accept
what’s here

The summer wants
to protect a modest stone
The song of the cock
seems small bright blue
At the edge of quiet
the marshes creep
in sweet peace

Look death
is about noise
hostile nature
against a trapdoor
painted with words
still dark

A low hoarse crow
This uproar

The rooster’s
only rarely sung
as if to stay
the church bells
from ringing

This countryside
never even heard

An erasure poem. Source material: “On Front Lines of Culture War in France: Maurice the Rooster,” The New York Times, Sunday, June 23, 2019.


The musty manger
where the Uncreated
slept swaddled in soft
new flesh The tax
collector’s booth and the rocking
boats His followers forsook
The water jars He filled
with the best wine for the wedding
feast The sickbed
of the servant whose centurion
acted by the code of authority
The fury of the tempest that terrified
lifelong fishermen
The perfume jar the woman
poured to anoint His feet
The graveclothes unwound
from Lazarus’s live body
The shame (and the discarded
jar) the Samaritan carried
to the well The water basin
with which He cleansed His disciples’
dusty feet The kiss
of betrayal planted in the garden
The wooden cross that stood
between two thieves
The borrowed tomb hewn
in stone The tombs of every
dead heart He renews

for Bishop GK Maxwell, who said at Christmas that the tomb is empty



brave leaps lying in state
ever the formed image
of the way treasure
came whirling
assured acceptance

fact made beautiful

An erasure poem. Source material: Stephens, Andrea, Bible B.A.B.E.S, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Fleming H. Revell, 2005, p. 19.

Wife of 26 years, mother of five, graduate of Middlebury College, Elaine Wilburt’s poems have appeared or will appear in The CressetLittle Patuxent ReviewThe Avenue, and Edify Fiction, among others; photo haiku, in Wales Haiku Journal and Failed Haiku. She received a 2019 Creatrix Haiku Award.

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