Poet X
Recent Poems

Water Prayer

As if water were a place*

a block from a freeway ramp

he called home,

I'm left to covet the words

he was praying when the bullet

from a block away

spake the amen.


*The whole poem and especially the first
line refer to a little-known poem, "Blue Earth,"
by David Lindahl. The event in "Water Prayer"
took place in Portland, OR, where a 41-year-old 
transient was shot and killed Saturday night, May
14, 2005, by a single stray bullet after a fight 
erupted outside a downtown club called "H2O". The 
intended victim was shot in the foot.)

"Blue Earth" 

by David Lindahl

for Sunshine Perlmutter, a 2-year-old girl 
who froze to death Christmas Eve, 1983 

as if cold 
were a 
you walked out of the house 
in pajamas 

and learned winter's slow dance 
in minutes 
blue earth and 
making naked footprints. 
no one 

know the word 
you whispered to the night 
in orange flame candles, wreaths 
red ribbons and 

snow. or the song you heard 
in cold 
that opened 
to you 
round like a mother, 

Copyright 2005 by Greg Baysans, "Blue Earth" appeared in The James White Review.