Where Skulls Speak Wind - Larry Thomas

Where Skulls Speak Wind, Poems.

By Larry D. Thomas. Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2004. 80 pages, 5 ½ x 8 paperback, $12.95 ISBN 1-881515-64-8 http://www.shsu.edu/~www_trp/, dist by TAMU http://www.tamu.edu/upress/
Winner of the 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize and 2004 Violet Crown Book Award for Prose & Poetry.

Larry Thomas was born and reared in West Texan, was educated at University of Houston, began writing poems in the navy, and retired from the Harris County Adult Probation Department in 1998. He now lives in Houston and Galveston. As with this volume, he has won prizes and recognition, and his poems have appeared widely in literary and popular journals and anthologies. His web site is http://www.thetexaspoet.com/

As you leaf through Larry Thomas’ volume, he gently takes you back the hand to a private, quiet slow dance. The dance begins in stark, western Texas where the wind will “never, never stop,” where the rivers when they sluice attract “frozen bodies, / … to the river’s edge, / and launched their secret, ghostly boats / creaking with the cargo of desire,” and where crosses, cyclones, and O’Keefe skulls convince the human populace of their sins so worthy of God’s punishment. There bull riders, antique cowmen, and grandmothers rock in the two-step with death.
In the wind sparrows feed and fight, ravens caw in the snow, and vultures in torn black fabric shine their beaks on bleached bones. Moving across the land, a brown pinto strikes a dazzling image in the snow, a black stallion thunders in the night, and longhorns “flaunt their sun struck hides.”
In Midland, youngsters remember their dry afternoons after church, rose colored Fords, dewberries, oh, the dewberries, first communions, mothers’ feather dusters.
In regret, there is long kept secret unknowingly shared by a father and son – acknowledged upon a death too late.
In West Texas not all gods are football players, some are awed by the red hummingbirds and spread their galactic “crushed light” as blessings on “everything we touched.”Take a little light from Thomas, and you’ll dance a little longer.

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