Ten Thousand Suns



We shake off thought.

We walk in open sunlight.

 Leave our trappings, traffic and streets like

startled dogs shrug off stars.


We keep our fathers’ hearts in jars.


Our boulevards, rotundas blaze at Christmas, Independence Day.

Sloughed in, we sleep a rough death only dreaming affords.


There are miracles to witness past these dozing benches,

past churches prim and drawn to bear His message on the poor.


     The trumpet is coming (I hear one say),

Will be all that is heard and all that we pray.

 He rose!  He lives!  He comes!  Radios explode.



Who comes then, for the women bombed from their hovels?

Their intestines woven through neighbors fences.


Black faced sons of Kirkuk rub sand in their brown eyes.

Down in their brown fists the blood never dries.


Who comes for their muttering,

Their satanic vengeance?  Who will they

 Become?  Only


Fathers, to pick their children’s teeth from

Cracks in paving stones.



Copyright © 2007 John  Dave Capps





Young Bacchus Told Them…



I want to die a snake handler.  My volatile

Molotov twitch, an experiment in faith.


When my name is said, you hear an echo.

Tooled from basalt, flash iron, vapor.


I am the same Sisyphus, dumb and ruptured.

My tallest ladder becomes air, static, crackling.


Look at my heart in this envelope.

Burn it.  Eat its ashes. 


Where does the ride take us?  While


The window becomes smaller, I hear

A tinny orchestra.  I smell the sun boil.



Ignites the violet night sky.  Ozone

Aroma and rain.  A billion fingered epiphany.


I want to die a sailor. 

My eyes lashed by stinging water.


Slip me secretly to Jerusalem.  I

Unfold in a chorus of sun flares.




© 2007 John D. Capps




Hell in Winter




Let night tender in.  Her dry clutch a soft explosion.



Daggers left along a footpath.


Let the children breathing bear another day,

Another new history.

Let the Kabul dead open their mouths.



Messengers buried along roadsides.


One misses her arms.

Another has lost his little hands.


We do not smell the bloated.

We do not hear the flies.  We do not see


A young woman crawl past the cameras

Carrying her left foot, the sandal still attached.


Instead, we hear that

Thirteen Marines unloose their guts.

Their twenty-six eyes


Roll across the Iraqi sands,

Pretty and dressed for dead.


Over here…


It is difficult to imagine


Whose lungs are filling with blood.

When a busload of children may explode.


We pump more gasoline into our trucks and

Do not look at each other.



© 2007 John David Capps