by Mike Yost



Land of the Rising Sun

© Mike Yost


The Belfry Burns against the Black

The Belfry burns against the ceaseless black above
A bright black, draped like heavy curtains that were cast off the fading arms of a dying sun

The Belfry’s skin of ancient stone cuts apart the raven cloth above,
Its immensity unearthed and erected centuries before the clacking of heavy hooves,
before the sharp ring of phones were pulled from pockets,
before the sweet aroma of warm waffles circled the town square

This towering safeguard shoulders that inky veil above,
Holding it back for those scurrying at its steadfast feet
Keeping time for cheerful throngs dining on beef stew and bitter beer and friendly conversations

As the bells of the Belfry sing along with the constant and copious discourse

© Mike Yost


He Listens

He tilts his head upward
Footfalls slapping against icy pavement and cracked concrete
His eyes open against the weight of an empty sky
That pulls at branches bare, rattling without the clap of leaves

The cold cuts sharply through the clouds
Through his jacket and through his bones
Through the very sun itself
Slinking behind gliding gossamer

He drops his head
Footfalls silent beneath icy memories and cracked thoughts
Eyes closed against the weight of an empty sky
That pulls at branches bare, dancing without the clap of leaves

He listens

© Mike Yost


Always Watching

I felt them on the back of my neck
Icy eyes with dangling fingers
Scraping just above the skin
Pulling at the fine hairs

I stop
And turn my head
Feet still planted
Narrowing my eyes
The porch void of any human gaze

I turn back, slowly, scratching at the back of my neck
Gravel now grinding under my shuffling feet
No one was there
No one was watching

And I begin to shuffle away faster

© Mike Yost



The Earth slowly turns its back
On a distant, dancing Sun

While serpentine winds
Drag clouds into oblivion

The weight of the sky
Fading black
Feels heavier

Feet held to rock beneath
I stretch my hands above
Eyes closed
Falling into the vast

© Mike Yost


Don’t Look Up

You walk down an empty alley
When suddenly you grow cold
Your skin burns like ice
You shiver and turn your head
Eyes wide
And no one is there
Yet you feel like someone is watching you . . .

© Mike Yost


I Traveled from Mountain to Brick

Under a crowd of lowly clouds
Gathered low in their windy homes
I traveled from mountain to brick

I left a muted skyline thick with trees
Gathered high in their windy homes
Above a crowd of lowly clouds

I stood in the long shadow of the smokestack
As leaves of variant and vibrant yellows
Danced like a vortex of amber, gold, and sun

I stomped my feet to wake them from the cold
Then thrust my arms into that leafy, swirling saffron
And danced in circles as a guest inside their windy homes.

© Mike Yost


Mere Words

Sometimes these words fail to convey a true experience
And their precision strikes as a blunt blade
Unable to pierce down deeply into that . . .
That which turns beneath his chest
That which pulls at his bones
That which hides in the cornered, obsidian shadows
Cast long by a mind locked tightly inside a fragile skull
With a hidden universe of memories and concepts looking out through a lens
Gazing through glass at . . . something he can’t really describe with mere words

© Mike Yost

Edge of the Earth


Here I sit

Naked feet dangling

Over the edge of the Earth

Waiting for your return

Photograph and Word Scribbles copyright Mike Yost 2017

Pete’s Kitchen

[Old Poem. New Photograph]

Pete’s is a place to warm our hands on a snowy afternoon, to wrap our fingers tightly around a thick mug of hot joe that burns the tongue.

Pete’s is a place to find company among the friendless, to nourish a lonely heart with the unspoken words of weary strangers.

Pete’s is a place for derelict souls, for those Denver denizens who feel endlessly lost—even at home surrounded by those we love.

Photograph and Prose copyright Mike Yost 2017