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Clean Coal Burn belongs in the tradition of James Wright, whose poems of coal mines and slag heaps nevertheless reveal love of a scarred but resilient land. In these poems beauty is found in unlikely places such as the haze over a corn field or the words of a man whose throat has been destroyed by black lung disease but who writes that there is beauty in the afterbirth of a sheep which steams in the spring snow “as if the land were alive.” While there is death—of miners or parents—there is also resurrection—in the new growth and new generations.

                         Deborah Fleming

Clean Coal Burn

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At Dusk

The barns of Ohio are dying

under the weight of smoke.

Fields are littered

with remains: ribs, spines,

dried and weathered skins.

A horse grazing on lashes

of honeysuckle curling from a cow's skull

turns for home.

Something in the wind is hungry.

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©2023 by Kip Knott. Proudly created with

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