Beyond Paradise: The Unweeded Garden / Harry Moore


Beyond Paradise:
The Unweeded Garden

poems by

Harry Moore

ISBN: 978-1-59948-789-2, 42 pages, $12 (+ shipping)

Release Date: March 25, 2020


Recipient of the 2014 Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, Harry Moore is the author of the poetry collection Bearing the Farm Away (Kelsay Books) and three chapbooks—What He Would Call Them (Finishing Line Press); Time’s Fool: Love Poems (Mule on a Ferris Wheel Press); and Retreat: A Way Forward (Finishing Line Press). His poems have appeared in the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Avocet, The Main Street Rag, Ship of Fools, Anglican Theological Review, and other journals. An assistant editor of POEM magazine, he lives with his wife, Cassandra, in Decatur, Alabama.

These are poems spun out of the essence of wording, projecting sound toward some object or some experience with the notion that sound can recreate the original in some fashion. They make shape from the shapelessness of living. Are we imposing an order on chaos or have we discovered a hidden order that is revealed only by our participation? Moore’s unweeded paradise may lead us toward an answer. ~Jake Berry



Asters bloom like stars,
a daisy is the day’s eye
yellow bright, and round
the base of dandelions
snarl lion’s teeth.

So rich the radishes, no radical
can dig them all.

Love in sports is amateur, amore
without pay, but in tennis
it is egg, from goose or other fowl,
zilch, nada, zero.

Heal makes whole, hale,
gives health, and hail wishes
all the same, to be one,
unbroken, entire, and holy
limns the only One.

My un-ami is not my friend,
and in estrangement to atone
makes two at-one, no longer
strangely split. By myself
I’m all all-one.

Before hlaf-dige was lady
of the manor, she was kneader
of the loaf, and hlaf-ward its
homely lord. Courtesy is queen
at court, and in chivalry
good manners rides a horse.

Pumpernickel is a fat devil
breaking wind and yapping feist
no bigger than a fart.

All is two-step, mirror, twin,
counterpoise and descant, where
orchid tubers grow like testicles
and avocados hang like manly balls.



Country Matters


Country is contra, opposite, outside
the city, neither urban, suburban,
nor urbane, past the walls of civitas,
keeping a thin and distant civility.

Country roars off-road in tall trucks
beyond the bustling polis. Wary of
police, careless of policy, it is not
metro-, cosmo-, or otherwise politan.

Country is brash, defiant, proud. It grows
and cooks its own food—collards, peas,
corn, squash, tomatoes, slabs of bacon.
Suspicious of everything political, it
votes for any charlatan, demagogue,
or slicker who talks its rustic tongue.

Country strains past hills, mountains,
plains, rivers, beaches—past birthplace,
native region, tribe, sect, race, clan—
toward one nation it never reaches. It
struts and crows under God, but always
its god, not another’s.

Country is contra, opposite, outside
the limits, against the city’s money,
its art, science, ivy ideas, its judges,
committees, its traffic, sidewalk crowds,
motley masses, its leaders who say how
citizens should drive, eat, marry, pray,
and fire their guns.



Hell to Pay


We barter deeds like dollars,
much obliged for the favor, ought
being what we owe, quid pro quo.

We give others their due, our duty
no less, meet our obligations. Nothing
good or bad gets past the ledger.

Nor does God escape the broker’s art.
We kneel before his great worth-ship,
none greater, our praise his highest price.

Failures grow our debt—the unkind cut,
the greedy snatch, o’er-weening lust
we’ve no currency for. We beg jubilee,

redemption, a clean set of books. We
offer love at every turn—space for
the merging car, patience with the prickly

or braggart neighbor, time for someone
lonely, dollars for storm-ravaged strangers,
forgiveness for all. Love keeps no count,

takes what is given, gives what it has.
Without it, there’s Hell to pay.

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