Friday, July 19, 2013

Poem of the Week: Joseph Ross

Joe Ross   
Hammering on Rocks  
   for Nelson Mandela

Hammering  on rocks  
can  break  the  hammerer's  back

when  stooped
under  the  weight  of  identity

cards  the  color  of  scorn.
But  somehow  you  knew

that  the  earth's  breath
drew  in  and  out

with  the  same  rhythm
as  your  own.

Somehow  you  also  knew
the  rocks  you  cracked

into  two  decades'  dust
were  watering  the  country

who  sat  silently  in  your  cell,
more  a  prisoner  than  you.

-Joseph Ross 

Used by permission.

From Gospel of Dust (Main Street Rag, 2013) 
Photo by: Ted Schroll

Joseph Ross is the author of two collections of poetry, Meeting Bone Man (2012) and Gospel of Dust (2013). His poetry has earned multiple Pushcart Prize nominations and the 2012 Pratt Library - Little Patuxent Review Poetry Prize. His poems appear in many anthologies and journals including Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality, Tidal Basin Review, Drumvoices Revue, Poet Lore, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. In 2007, he co-edited Cut Loose the Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib. He teaches in the Department of English at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. and writes at
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