Field Sermon: Renunciation
John Sibley Williams
If the cut is clean, a cross-sectioned sky reveals the same spent rings as ponderosa pine. Inside our body‘s body, when turned to music, a cry so close to song. And the lake filled with men in white finding some sort of grace in the silt is the same spot my dad once taught me how to gut walleye. Blood in the shallows. God along the mirrored surface. Listen closely, that distant clamor of belled goats may be the great gale grandpa always said would blow the whole house down. To bring the dead back to us, never speak of them again.
John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. A seven-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, Arts & Letters, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.