The Child of the Grasses (An Excerpt)

2012 – Gerardo Pacheco Matus – In recognition of his outstanding poetry manuscript, The Child of the Grasses.

“Departing from where Walt Whitman leaves off in Leaves of Grass, Gerardo Pacheco’s The Child of the Grasses presents us with the Native’s view of the Americas: spare, rich, glistening with truths of the “natural world” and bristling with insights into the human condition within the true world…Stunningly sure, an integral whole, Pacheco’s voice sings in the way of good Zen poetry from the Japanese masters. Here is beauty, the beauty that surround us, often when we have nothing left but beauty. Here is the meaty voice of the immigrant, the worker, the watcher, the Elder’s wisdom, “Whitman’s grass/ an American memory.”  Here is good poetry-plain and simple.” 2012 Juror Lorna Dee Cervantes

*These poems have appeared in the Grantmakers for the Arts, and have also been part of an excerpt that was the winner of the distinguished Joseph Henry Jackson Award awarded by the San Francisco Foundation.

A Dust Storm Is Coming

hanging from barb wires

the rattlesnakes

are hissing

with his shovel

a man digs in

the dry earth

one, two, three

all the grains

the soil can hold

the sacred buffalo

is gone—

dust covers the grass

the crows follow

the Mayans

to new lands—

wind erases

the children’s


iron wheels left

half hidden

in dusty fields

Whitman’s grass

an American memory

A Canvas of Crows


under the sun

the crows are black dots

they move along

the green and yellow grass

they peck their old feathers

as they pick bugs and seeds

for their chicks

‘til i scare them

the crows become a wild splash

a wild thing of black feathers

I Followed the Crows Across the Hills

where do the crows go

at night, when their

shadows are taller

than themselves?

do the crows land

on the grass & peck

rocks & glass ‘til

the moon disappears?

where do the crows

roost when the night

is full of glittering

things in the wild?

i followed the crows

‘til a valley full of frozen

rivers & black trees

appeared behind the hills

too many crows

squawking at once

some shrieked like children

others beat their wings

the crows roosted all night

on a leafless tree

like hunched gargoyles

waiting for me

2012 – Gerardo Pacheco Matus – In recognition of his outstanding poetry manuscript, The Child of the Grasses.

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One thought on “The Child of the Grasses (An Excerpt)

  1. Pingback: The Pandillero of Gerardo Pacheco Matus – Play On Words

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