The Tree Has Just Begun to Wilt | Poem by Alvin Knox

The tree has just begun to wilt poem

The tree has just begun to wilt

Three days now since the wreck down the road,
three days since the ambulance, the aid car,
the police and helicopter, three days since the skid
marks were lain down, since the shattered pine
was pulled to the back of the grassy verge, and today
a different set of cars plays out along the roadside.
Two men, middle-aged, stand beside an Oldsmobile as if
in conversation, but they do not talk. Neither smokes,
but one glances nervously back along the blacktop.
By a Jeep, a young woman talks on a cell phone, her
arms waving an explanation. A bearded man leans
against a Mustang, tired, a cigarette dangling limply
in his hand. He is far away and doesn’t seem to notice
my car passing. None do. And at the edge of the road
at the end of the skid marks, two women, a mother
and her sister, I’d guess, sift through the gravel
with their fingers, inspecting each piece, searching
for that lost thing that won’t be found.

Ars Poetica by Alvin Knox

Ars Poetica


Ars Poetica

This is a door.
It once hung perfectly
framed in this tiny corner
of the universe,
swung effortlessly
It now lies here
in this rain-soaked field,
not torn from its place
but carefully removed—
screw by screw,
nail by nail—
so that if you were to place your fingers
within the hole that once held its latch
and raise it on the ghost of hinges,
stiff as the past and greedy
as the future, only a breath
of earth would greet you.
Look at the bottom,
how the drops of dew
left by cool stones
glisten like fireflies.




Music by Andy Derryberry. Reading and poem by Alvin Knox.Mastered and produced by Artvilla Records

© 2016 Alvin Knox

One Day on the Freeway | Poem by Alvin Knox

Freeway poem

One Day on the Freeway

Like a dream to the alarm clock.
Like a nitrous revelation.
Like when you pass a cop
by the side of the road
and unslouch yourself without thinking.
A little change in perspective
when you weren’t paying attention.
You think, God, I could have died
back there and not noticed,
entered some parallel universe
more like this one than heaven.
But the exits are the same
and the wife’s car is in the driveway
when you pull in, the kids are waving
at the window. You get out
without looking in the wing mirror,
wipe your forehead
with the back of your hand.

At the Fountain Park | Poem by Alvin Knox

Fountain Poem

At the Fountain Park

Today, children—younger, older,
black, white, and shades between—
run through the spray and spouting jets,
an impromptu game of tag with each other
and the randomly shifting streams.
They have tossed their shoes
around the fountain’s base to form
makeshift garlands of green, yellow,
red and blue. The fountain likes this.
Today, the central, vertical stream rises
one inch higher than its typical fourteen feet.
I have read the plaque on the fountain’s base.
The children, some in swimsuits, some
in clothes their parents forgot would get wet,
cavort in rings around the fountain, laughing,
except for one little girl who has stopped dead,
silent, gazing into the sky, into the invisible.
Today, she is the chosen one, the magic one
in the perfect place to see the fountain play with the sun.


© 2016   Alvin Knox   All Rights Reserved

Surely There Are Stars Enough | Poem by Alvin Knox

Surely there are stars enought poem

It is time to reconfigure the constellations.
New stars blaze into existence, old stars
are pried from behind curtains of interstellar dust.
Surely, there are stars enough
for every god of men.

Disregard the fact that a rainbow
is only a lens of water. Throw out Lacaille.
Appropriate his rhomboidal net, his square,
his table, his furnace—
and build in my heaven a myth of the world
that allows the blade of an iris
to become invisible.

Star maps locate our sun
near the edge of the milky way,
but man is still at the center
of the known universe.

Alvin Knox

Alvin Knox is a Lecturer of English at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)
He studied Poetry/Creative Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts