Category Archives: Poetry

Selections from Lyman Grant’s published works

The Laying on of Hands

So this is the way it happens. Somewhere around 3:00 a.m. in a bed not made for blood and screams, women hold the woman you love while you haul medical supplies, sterile implements, and oxygen tanks (just in case) from the midwife’s warm Taurus in the driveway. All the while you’re thinking, no, not now, in the morning maybe, the afternoon’s better. You had everything planned: people to pray, a ceremony to honor the seven directions, something to beckon the deer and the wolf. And you were even wise enough to think of the elders. But, now, you forget to light the candles, and far away, the elders are sleeping, cheap paperbacks spread wide like curtains over their exhausted hearts. And the prayer people across town dream of a man falling, tumbling through howling clouds, toward seas heaving at the waning moon. It is at this hour that you return to yourself, and remember what you knew before you knew how to plan, before you began scheduling your epiphanies. It is at this hour that you remember that only empty hands can cup the light, that mercy visits only when the last appointment has ended. So when you are called–If you’re going catch this baby, you better do it now!–there is no other way but to kneel since kneeling is demanded, to bow before the only heaven our body will ever know, to pull life, wet and frightened, into your palms and place him on the altar of his mother’s breasts.

from Feeding the Crow (Plain View Press), and The Road Home (Dalton Publishing).

For my thoughts about writing this poem, follow this link.

Late Night

So a man drives around late at night

avoiding all the streets that lead home.

He knows lights are still on

that those who love him

are gathered round the table

talking, wondering what could have gone wrong. Continue reading

Found Things

I stumble from room to room

lost like a young wild boy

whose pockets once were stuffed

with marbles and frogs,

foreign coins and knotted string,

a pocket knife and an empty

silver locket, but now has

discovered his clothing empty. Continue reading


The wheelchair waits beside the Christmas tree,

one of those cheap firs from Safeway, thin,

spindly, dropping its needles on the carpet.

In the wheelchair is my mother,

wrapped in a fading housecoat of spring flowers, Continue reading