The Poetry Storehouse

great contemporary poems for creative remix

Sherry O’Keefe – poems


 
 
1. How to Draw an Albino Coyote (with audio by author & Neil William Holland)
2. Two Miles After The Gravel Road Ends (with audio by author & Nic Sebastian)
…. - Video remix by Marc Neys
3. On Naming Her Twelve Hundred Months (with audio by author & Neil William Holland)
4. Pryor Mountain Ice (with audio by author)
5. At Ruby’s Diner (with audio by author & Nic Sebastian)
…. - Video remix by Nic Sebastian

 
 
How to Draw an Albino Coyote
(Read by Sherry O’Keefe)
download audio
(Read by Neil William Holland)
download audio

Leave your white crayon in the box.

Draw a simple forest. Brown strokes go down and up.
Upside down Vs in sage make pretty lodge pole pines.

Smudge these with your thumb. This is how trees become
one forest. This is how we blur.

Leave a blank space—a place for her to hide.

For the Absaroka Wilderness, draw tips of broken stars.
Think of using purple—like the mountain song.

Save your pink crayon for when you see her eyes.
Tear the paper from your gray to slash thunder in the sky.

Scatter orange and yellow circles for flowers on the ground.
Let some of them be crushed.

Think of a hunter’s quiet boot. Add a drop of copper
and watch the page turn red.

- Previously published at Camas: The Nature of the West

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Two Miles After The Gravel Road Ends
(Read by Sherry O’Keefe)
download audio
(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audio

We scrape pale honey from the bottom of a jar
using a slender spoon that has no match
in the box of flatware. The wood stove crackles.
The tea is slow to sweeten. Licking honey
from our knuckles we listen to the ranchers talk
of how the spoon was traded for a bell
with a clapper fashioned from a leaded weight
found along the water’s edge where Lillygoat
lives among the sheep. When the time comes

she’ll be buried there, within the river’s curve,
wearing the bell a neighbor gave to Harry’s grandson
in a thanking way for allowing his bee boxes
to sit on the side hill overlooking last year’s hay.
Outside, pine trees darken in the dusk and rain
sizzles inside the hot stovepipe. In a little bit
we’ll drive back to town but for now
there’s drowsy talk of riding the fence lines.

Previously published at THEMA

 
 
Video remix by Marc Neys

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On Naming Her Twelve Hundred Months
(Read by Sherry O’Keefe)
download audio
(Read by Neil William Holland)
download audio
For example, she gets August and Tuesday mixed up 

and she’d like to name the next month Caesar. Julius 

after that. I sense that she prefers infinity, avoiding 

things that go around and come back again- which is why 

her father asked my mother to tell me the least I could do
is write to her, maybe apply for a visitor’s pass. 

I show her the piano in the day room with keys named
one through eighty-eight. Octaves don’t exist. She skips
the scales we learned as kids but plays killer
ragtime blues. Speaking of music and Tuesday,
my puppy stops barking when I say things
like Excuse me, or Ruby Tuesday, or when I sing the blue

shoe song she likes. Layla is the Irish Setter I rescued
from the pound. Her previous owner gave her up
because she’s afraid of a rifle going off, bullets 

in a barrel, the click from a trigger’s pull, the sounds 

of hunting season, the sound September makes.

- Previously published by Fifth Wednesday Journal

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Pryor Mountain Ice
(Read by Sherry O’Keefe)
download audio
Too few people could leave the terraced
fossil rock untouched. Such admiration
eroded the shale bank. The steep
trail to the cave now lies crumbled
in the gorge. I had explored the cave
before its collapse and knew
how solid silence feels within
fractured walls of ice. Across the deep
ravine, wild mustangs keep distance
on their side. They venture near
their aspen edge, watching me watch
them. With the cave gone, I want
to call out to them. Run.

- Previously published by Terrain.org

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At Ruby’s Diner
(Read by Sherry O’Keefe)
download audio
(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audio
He builds her a universe to remember

before taking off, moving her 

water glass so many degrees from 

the coffee cup they’ve agreed 

to call the sun, letting the pepper be



the star that’s left in the bottom 

of the Dipper’s bucket. The saltshaker 

marks where he’ll soon be standing 

on his back porch measuring the distance 

between how he lives and how he knows



he can’t – light years from where 

he’s traced her hand in his flight
journal. Let the rim of my plate be 

the curve of your earth
, he says. When

salt spills, new stars burn the sky.

- Previously published by Fifth Wednesday Journal

 
 
Video remix by Nic Sebastian

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About Sherry:

Sherry O’Keefe, a descendant of Montana pioneers, grew up in a remote power camp on the Missouri River.She is a poetry editor for IthacaLit and an assistant editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal. Her work can be found in Camas: The Nature of the West, Art & Document, Escape Into Life, PANK, Fifth Wednesday Journal and many other journals. Her second collection of poetry, Cracking Geodes Open, was published by Aldrich Press in 2012. Visit her here.

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10 thoughts on “Sherry O’Keefe – poems

  1. Pingback: New additions – 7 April 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  2. Pingback: ‘You as tunnel’ – process notes for a remix | Very Like A Whale

  3. Pingback: New additions – 28 April 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  4. Pingback: At Ruby’s diner by Sherry O’Keefe | Moving Poems

  5. Pingback: New additions – 20 May 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  6. Pingback: Two Miles After the Gravel Road Ends by Sherry O’Keefe | Moving Poems

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