Lance Hawvermale's poetry has appeared in Mid-America Review, Crosstimbers, ByLine, The Same and many other journals. In 2006, his collection titled Old Codes was named Best Poetry Book by the Oklahoma Writers Federation.

Below are a few of his latest poems.

Curiosity

If I were the Martian rover with silicon
marrow and fake fingernails of carbon

fiber then I would not cry on the toilet.
The search for tears on Mars has begun.

Never mind whose boot will first crimp
the sargasso soil or what wise crap

he'll speak across sixteen minutes of
silent gulf to reach us, dying to cheer him.

Tell me instead who weeps the first
lava tears at the base of Olympus Mons,

whose eyes sting so much for a mom
60 million miles away and the shape

the falling drop makes in the rusty sand.
Or for a husband.  Or even a lost dog.

Shut in my bathroom where it's mostly
dark I can shudder with the force of them,

breathing sadness in lieu of air on shores
where being first matters more than love.

    Quicksilver

    Before lead was poison
    we cracked a John Deere
    thermometer to watch
    mercury run across the desk.

    Darren liked the destruction
    of glass, the escape
    of something almost feral
    from its shell.

    Travis favored its science,
    the secrets it vowed
    to reveal of God and perhaps
    in some way of girls.

    But all I could see
    was that alien motion,
    a bullet with an ink trail
    writing calligraphy too fast
    to read; thirty years later
    I want my blood like that,
    water and weight, inscribing
    molecules of me but always
    while running away.

The Route to Water

He climbs the ladder in time-lapse
uncertainty, pausing on each slip-
resistant rung, no less thoughtful

than Newton contemplating velocity.
His trunks drip as he ascends,
goosebumps rise as Braille along

his shoulders, looking for a father
to read his fear by touch. Yet
he continues alone, as we all must

continue, and then crests the long
blue gangplank that juts
like an exclamation mark across

this paragraph of his nine mighty years.
He advances, little monk with clenched
fists, then pauses on the edge of the

world. No one knows what happens next.
In his heart is he sailing, leaping,
or is he retreating to locate

a less acrobatic route to water?
He will never understand or say
but at some point he bends his knees.

    Fatherhood Pending

    I bought fresh saliva
    in a jar; I bought gypsum
    dust to dry my hands;
    I bought a belt buckle
    and polished it raw
    to signal passing planes.

    What more do I need?
    This isn't Chernobyl.
    This isn't a school fire
    or church service where
    strangers speak in tongues.
    Still, I carve my canoe
    with porcelain hands,
    anticipating the sea.