Mound by Sarah Walko


Near where I lie, a silver-bordered fritillary 

is perched on white-petalled Canada violet,

its orange wings tolling silent in the breeze.


Behind a nearby fence, a herd of cows 

follow an unwitting leader

up toward the barn and farmhouse.


A bobolink sails low over the meadow

then turns on the dime of my presence.


Every other direction

is either woods or sunlight

or the creamy-green emulsion

where they meet.


Somehow, a length of straw

has found its way into my teeth.

I see no reason why it shouldn’t stay there.



Extension cords think they’re snakes.

And they do nothing all day but make love.

That’s why I’m 

trying to untangle them.

And what goes with which?

Do these cobra fangs 

bite into that adder’s orifice?

What about this left-over metal python penis?

How do serpents have sex anyhow?

All I want to do is set up this stereo

to play some soft jazz.

for when you come over later.

Nothing like cool, sensual music

to get us in the mood.

It’s not that the cords don’t want that.

It’s just that they don’t need it.


About the poet:

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.

About the artist:

Sarah Walko is an artist, writer, director and curator with a BA in studio art practices from the University of Maryland and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. For the past thirteen years she has curated for institutions, non-profits and independent projects, has served as a director of three arts organizations and has been a contributing writer on contemporary art, literature and film for numerous publications. She is currently the Director of Education and Community Outreach at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey.