When the war of the giants is over,
the wars of the pygmies will begin…
- Winston Churchill

The man with the fat cigar, who
Lived his life with the black dog

Snapping at his boot-heels, his port-
Scented breath filling the corridors

And marbled halls and smoke-filled
Meeting–rooms, wishes he was a fly

On the wall, his universe composed
Of paint and wood and dust–motes -

And all viewed from above, the miles
Between the bounded walls traversed

In seconds - the quiet hum of his wings,
A century between each beat, drowning

Out the drone of airplanes, the clanging
Swords – the heartbeat’s endless thump.

The Memory of Water

Homeopaths claim that the active ingredient
imprints itself on the water's memory
by a very special shaking ­process…

The unbroken memory of rain falling
for one hundred thousand years, walls

of water churning through forests
and valleys, tearing rocks and trees

from impossible mountain-sides –
the collective consciousness of atoms

electrons and molecules accumulating
microscopic memories – spilling from

a silver aspergillum – running down
a leaded-glass window in a medieval

tower, dripping slowly down the brow
of a woman tangled in a dark wood –

runelling between the faun-freckled
shoulder–blades of a girl swimming

in a blue pool - memory of the oceans,
imprinted liturgy of the infinite – each

drop a hymn, a communion of remembrance.

Alex Grant's Chains & Mirrors won the 2007 Oscar Arnold Young Award (Best Collection by a North Carolina poet) and the 2006 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize. Fear of Moving Water, his 2009 collection, was a finalist for a number of national book contests and runner-up for the 2010 Brockman Campbell (Best North Carolina Poetry Collection) and Oscar Arnold Young Awards. The Circus Poems, released by Lorimer Press in September 2010, has received multiple Pushcart nominations and is a current finalist for the 2011 SIBA Award. A five-time Pushcart and Best of The Web nominee, he has received the Kakalak Poetry Prize and The Pavel Srut Poetry Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in dozens of national journals, including The Missouri Review, Best New Poets 2007, Arts & Letters, The Connecticut Review, Seattle Review, Cream City Review and Verse Daily. He lives in Chapel Hill NC, with his wife, his dangling participles and his Celtic fondness for excess. He can be found on the web at  

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