Stephen Herman

1.    The Vision


Getting under the wire fence

lifting the latch on the barnyard door

scurrying into boxes     corners

                                        fitting in


There was this need to rummage through

attics        cellars         eaves

places immediate to new things


There was this fleeting urge

to stroke the sun

to get the hands the arms the whole back

                                        pressing down


and then there was this slipping out

like moths slowly from the hard-shelled pupa


2.    The Journey


At first when the fever broke

and the mad dream drifted like clouds

across the plains I came to you


silent       void       the melancholic fetus

wrapped in swaddling clothes its only shroud


and I thought of turning myself over

like a leaf or the soil and following the child down

the limbs to the trunk         the roots


to the mouth of the tree and leaving her there

where the earth begins and the glow worms pass

like sentinels in the night



3.    The Return


An egg in the eye of death

the sweet and gentle carcass of a calf

inundated with fleas


I speak of a child whose unlit eyes

are the wells of the world

whose ears are caves          whose lips and skin

suffer the ruins of dried up springs


I speak of my own facelessness

the negative print of it wrinkled and stained


And I bring myself back to you

Over the field       picking my way


Like a songless bird in the calm of the storm

MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry, U. Mass., Amherst Taught Creative Writing/Poetry for 12 years at City College of San Francisco Published Night Visions in 2012, awarded Gold Seal of Literary Excellence First Prize in Poetry, 2013, SF Writers' Conference SF Human Rights Commissioner for 2 years