Two sonnets

These two sonnets, “Nets” and “On Her Walk”, were written in 2016 as part of the unreleased Time-Wise Animals project.



There were pounds of cotton, bleached and dyed,
pulled from tufted blooms in southern seasons,
twisted into knots and diamond-tied,
soaked in blood and thunderstorms and reasons.
There was nylon, plastic spooled and cut,
fit for pulling life out of the water,
stretched across the frets in place of gut,
woven on the legs of someone’s daughter.
Millions walk the tightrope of abuse.
We look down. What chances will we take?
Safety nets of barbed wire are no use
but they’re cheap to build, and tough to break.
Will we perch our children on the wire?
Will we set the circus tent on fire?


On Her Walk

Ghosted pavement leaf-prints under sole.
Iron painted with the blood of rain.
Ink flows through the poster on the pole.
One green shoot twines up the metal drain.
Green paint on the red brick chiseled, chipped.
Chains on textured gates in cold, thick groups.
Scribbled cracks (unconscious urban script).
Faces formed in razor-wire loops…
Any wall can be a prison wall.
All her walls are canvases of time
where decadence bookends the wrecking ball,
defies the crane, the crew, the shiny crime.
In between construction sites, they talk —
old stones and broken things loved on her walk.

– C. A. Corbell