David Hightower



When he'd grown sick of sin
and the world he lived in,
he founded the perfect church.
He could see it
kneeling white in its pureness
beneath hallelujah branches.
He wanted it filled
with that perfection of heaven
that God rumored to man,
and perfection bears no dissent.
His congregation did not fondle
lust and holiness together,
and never confused the two;
no members bowed in hungover repentance,
trembling until they could sin again;
no man secretly loving man, or woman woman,
proclaiming to themselves that love is love.
He wanted the rules laid out
distinct as white lines on highways,
unforgiving as the concrete barriers between them.
No confusion to tangle his righteousness,
no challenges, no questions.
He preached to rows of empty pews,
the perfect congregation.



Chimpanzees lounge beneath trees,
idly ignoring the shadowy forms
that haunt the full length windows
and the antic arms pointing
from another dimension.
A lazy silence drifts beneath the heavy net
tied to the four corners of heaven.
No cries of alarm,
predators are locked down a hundred feet away.
No excited chatter, no screams of play,
invade their thoroughly explored world.
Languidly they sniff, scratch, pick, chew;
they've got it made in the shade
in the Chattanooga Zoo.
Vines, securely attached, never rot;
molded trees and rocks are concrete hard,
never roll away or crack.
Bananas don't grow up high;
they drop at their feet from a generous sky.
They don't compete for mates;
their mates are carefully selected and delivered.
If they become ill, they are healed,
or gently tranquilized into oblivion.
In a secluded corner a pair of eyes, almost human,
hides a spark of patient anger,
searches for a chink in the shield
that protects him from all danger.
With a slender stick he taps
out a monotonous mantra...
Escape, escape, escape.


Copyright 2007 David Hightower

All Rights Reserved

David Hightower was born into a household with roots in the Kentucky mountains on his mother's side and the north Georgia mountains on his father's side. He was raised on farms in the foothills of the Appalachians in Bartow County, Georgia. He became serious about poetry during his service in the army and continued to write during his years as an English teacher at Rockmart Middle School and at Cass High School where he was the advisor for the yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine. Now retired, he lives on a former cattle farm in rural Chattooga County, Georgia at the foot of John's Mountain. He has published one book of poetry THE HANGING MAN DREAMS.


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