Ray Sharp and Annmarie Lockhart

Paria Canyon, Arizona, April 2008

Ray Sharp


All the Old Familiar Songs

By Ray Sharp



Oh my darling, sing to me

in this time of dreadful sorrow.


Verses fly across the chasm

like birds on a treacherous crossing.


They ignite in spontaneous flarings,

they plunge, exhausted, to icy depths,


They stray into canyonlands

where words echo like folk songs:


Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

Where have all the flowers gone?


If I had a hammer. If I had my way,

I would tear this old building down.



By Annmarie Lockhart

Inspiration Piece


There are five years between the age that I am

now and the age at which my grandmother died.


Our shared name differentiates us from siblings

but fits our places on either side of my mother.


I know her pretty face only from aging photos;

my coloring and features are not hers.


I never saw the lines of her palm;

we were not born under the same sign.


Today, for the first time, I considered my own end

and if it would be at her time or in her way.


The sounds of the crash, the pierce of the glass,

the crush of bone, the snap of neck, real for a moment,


then gone again. Nothing more than repeated words

echoing like folk songs handed down through time.


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One Comment

  1. Posted December 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm | #

    These poems gel together as if they were two chapters to one story. They are poignant and striking.