God’s House & the Lone Coyote – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, I was reminded recently of this free verse piece from my debut poetry collection. I hadn’t thought of it in some time. I thought it would be nice to share it here. Feedback is appreciated!


God’s House & the Lone Coyote:

The steam from my coffee
fogs up the small panes of glass
in the backdoor.
I often stand here in the morning,
staring out at the frozen world.
  
Chain link separates our backyard
and an empty field.
Beyond the field, a firehouse
and a church.
I wish it were just the field.
  
I guess I’m thankful
that help
is no more than
a hundred yards
away at any moment,
  
and having
God’s house
in the neighborhood
should do wonders for
my property value.
  
I watch a lone
coyote make his way
across the frozen grass
just beyond
the back fence.
  
He pauses and
looks back the way he came,
as if reconsidering the choice
that brought him here.
  
Eventually, he carries on.
I sip my coffee.
The morning sun ascends.
The world turns.


-Brandon White

The above poem, “God’s House & the Lone Coyote, ” appears in my debut poetry collection, The Year that Stole the Light Away (Raw Earth Ink). Click the cover to purchase a copy!

Album of the Week – Idiot Prayer by Nick Cave


Friends, in thinking of other posts that may be enjoyable for you and myself, I’ve decided to offer up an Album of the Week for those whose love for song runs as deep as my own.

This weeks pick is Idiot Prayer by Nick Cave. Cave’s songs are beautifully haunting and his lyrics are of a poetic quality known only to the masters of the craft. Idiot Prayer is now available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

The Dance – A Poem by Brandon White

This recent fruitful period continues as I have another free verse poem for your reading pleasure. I’ll be chasing this feeling for as long as my legs will hold up. I certainly hope you enjoy the piece, and please leave your thoughts below!


The Dance:

Roll out of bed
and into the dry mouth
of morning

Cold water splash
and a red-eyed
reflection

Cause and effect
and the wages
of sin

The night before
swirling down
the drain

A scalding baptism
burns everything
but a memory

We learn the dance
of death over
many years

A bottle presses
to lips like the barrel
of a gun


-Brandon White








Soon, A New Day – Poetry Anthology


Friends, I’m thrilled to announce the release of Soon, A New Day, the new poetry anthology from Quillkeepers Press. The anthology features new poems from me, along with the brilliant work of many others. It’s an honor to be included. I’ve linked the cover art above if interested in purchasing a copy for yourself!

-Brandon

Amnesiac Rising – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, I am grateful that inspiration continues to find me. Another free verse piece arrived, and I feel my recent writer’s block losing its grip. I hope you enjoy it!


Amnesiac Rising:

Wake disoriented
to the chaotic room,

the clothes
on the floor,

and the sun through
the blinds

to who do
these belong?

The edge of
the bed

now the edge
of the world

Rub the half-
remembered

dreams from
aching eyes

Faces familiar,
nameless ghosts,

Show me a heart
that isn't haunted

What's worthy
is sure to return

The amnesiac
rises


-Brandon White





Weather – A Poem by Brandon White

My friends, another fresh free verse offering for your reading pleasure. Feedback appreciated. Enjoy!


Weather:

You bubble up
like strange weather

A few harmless drops
of rain

from a darkening sky
gone unnoticed

Be sudden
and send me spinning

counter-clockwise
and without warning

Some things were made
to be pulled apart


-Brandon White


Repetition – A Poem by Brandon White

Hello friends! I’ve got for you today, a new free verse poem, fresh from the mind to the screen. I hope you enjoy it!


Repetition:

Choke on thoughts of hands
and flesh

and know that I have come to despise
these cheap displays of passion.

On the endless backroad
of my numbered days

I speed screaming into the mouth
of the beast that swallows my years.

Every wrong turn
remembered.

I feel I've been
robbed.


-Brandon White

Book Recommendation – The Road by Cormac McCarthy

As some of you know, this space is primarily for sharing my poetry and other creative endeavors; however, I will occasionally share my thoughts on works and artists that have enriched my life, hoping the work sparks something in you.


“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage Books, 2006

If someone were to describe the basic plot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, it would likely leave most people uninspired and unlikely to look into the book for themselves.

In 2021, the idea of another story about the struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic setting is yawn-worthy at best, and how could you possibly blame someone for such a response? The market is beyond oversaturated, with thousands of titles born of the concept. Though there may be the occasional winner, for my money, The Road stands alone as the work closest to perfection.

We join the central protagonist, simply known as The Man, and his son, The Boy on The Road, pushing a shopping cart containing all their worldly positions down a stretch of desolate highway somewhere in America. The sky is gray with ash, the trees dead and falling, wildlife, like most of humanity, virtually wiped out. A full explanation is never offered as to how or why the world came to be this way, which only furthered my curiosity for the story.

We’re quick to learn that the state of the world and the many challenges and dangers encountered by The Boy and The Man are secondary to their father and son relationship. It struck me as powerful in 2006 when I first read the novel, and in 2021, now a father of two, I find it devastatingly beautiful.

“He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage Books, 2006

The exchanges between The Man and The Boy are simple, real, and perhaps the most underrated aspect of this book. The dialogue between a father and son facing impossible odds. The emotional investment of the reader comes quickly, the story rooting itself in the mind, the heart.

McCarthy’s use of language is masterful. Using as little punctuation as possible, his words find the page with an authority known only to a select few. All at once, beautiful and disturbing. Moments of extreme violence followed by a brief reprieve from the nightmarish landscape to be reminded of the beauty of a child’s curiosity and how we parents try to explain the world’s cruelty without crushing their wonder.

If you’re looking for not only a new read but an experience, I cannot recommend The Road enough. This is a book that will stay with you for years to come. You’ll revisit it when you’ve felt removed enough from the cold grip of its world, and you’ll hold every book that follows to a higher standard.

Safe Travels.

5 Stars.

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.”

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage Books, 2006

Gift – A Poem by Brandon White

A short, newer free verse poem that arrived fully realized while driving my daughters to school. I hope you enjoy it!


Gift:

I live not for risk
or adrenal rush

not for company men
or brass rings

I live for the song

For that perfect line
of a poem

where the muse rips
open the box of mystery

like a Christmas morning gift,
raises it to me smiling and says:

For you, the world


-Brandon White

Ghost Rider – A Poem by Brandon White

Another recently unearthed free verse poem, written a few months after my father’s passing. I was inspired to write about the comfort we find in art during times of uncertainty and pain. I’m happy it’s found a place.


Ghost Rider:

You’ve been the ghost
in the seat next to me

for more miles
than I can count.

Your voice rises
from the speakers

to illuminate
the road ahead,

to make yourself known
once more.

God knows
I could use the company.

We’ve never had much use
for conversation,

so let’s fill the air
with a song once more

and build a fire
by the roadside.

I’ll stretch this body out
and turn my eyes

to the western stars.


-Brandon White
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