Two Poems from Earth-cool, and Dirty

Jacob Lee Bachinger’s debut collection of poetry Earth-cool, and Dirty (Radiant Press) delivers a timely call to consider nature in all of it’s finest detail—an elegy to the wild that holds the earth in careful hands and shows us the ordinary as a gift to be nurtured.


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Two poems from Earth-cool, and Dirty

All through winter, wanting
spring. In the arms of your lover, craving
another. Known by many
names and needs: nostalgia, for mother,
her frail voice on the phone;
avarice, for cold coins to clutch;
obsession, for perfection, washing your hands again, again,
again. Hounds track a scent; daisies seek the sun;
salmon wreck themselves
on a river’s rocky ladder. A lack, a lacuna
in the midst of our lives,
at the core of our love: returning
to your father’s grave,
certain you won’t find him there
* * *
 Backyardafter Thoreau’s “Spring”
As March rains disperse the snow, baring swaths of burlap grass, we see how the house has
been turned wrongside out and the unwanted, orphaned scraps and trash banished from our
rooms have found space here, sifting into leaf litter by the sagging fence, disintegrating greyly
on Adirondack chairs, easing into earth among abandoned toys, sleeping by severed
headboards and the Pollocked ladder resting on its side, joining empty garbage pails, hanging
from the washline with winter’s forgotten mittens, dangling with a broken birdless feeder,
thatching deeper into the grass undisturbed through the feculent spring.

 * * *

Jacob Lee Bachinger
lives and works in southern Alberta on the edge of coulees and the Oldman River. He teaches at the University of Lethbridge and has had his poems published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Riddle Fence, and The Malahat Review among others. He is currently working on a book about his time in Labrador. Jacob lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.Author photo credit Shannon McAlorum