Poetry

Susquehanna

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

“View of the Susquehanna,” watercolor by Vivian Starr I. The kayak eases in— its green plastic sides scrape rock as the rower digs her oar through mud—and sunrise- pink waves embrace the vessel. A lonely train howls its morning echo, crossing the old Rockville Bridge where the golden plovers catch insects drawn to mossy walls. An old man watches the fishers work from his porch, watches the train creep, watches the kayaker rest, adjusts his cap to the sun. II. Bass kiss the surface, gulp E. coli microbes. They process the toxin throughout their cold bloodstreams as they...

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Abundance

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

A Wednesday in Oberlin, a warm, affable, summer day, dolce far niente, under the red umbrella, we’re al fresco at Lorenzo’s pizzeria. Bees feast, elbowing for the finest, pink hibiscus blossoms. Beneath the table, a sparrow begs, hopping to a lively mazurka. My wife objects, but I can’t resist, and toss a piece of crust, exceedingly satisfied as the tiny bird pecks at the edges of lunch. It occasionally glances at me, wary, grateful, greedy. That’s it. There’s nothing more to this inconsequential moment. This abundance is...

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The Porch

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

I was premature. Born yellowish, butterfly kicking forward, already homesick when they snapped the cord. They placed me in the sun to bake beneath the maples on their new porch where I could speak to the trees with cries and hear myself attempt the forest sounds. My first language: shhhhh-ahhh-shhheeee. Wind teaching a child to listen to suburban alienation. Each caterpillar inching on my skin was a friend to gather, greet; each cardinal was a scarlet blur of echoing skylight, calling me back from the harsh kick of a car engine. My ears were tuned to the patter of rain on the porch boards,...

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August Hymn

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

Let everything remain as it is, the unexpected quiet like the August heat out in the meadow, the sun rubbing the old maples. Look at the black eyed Susans studded by the dirt road drop open as they lose their tight grip. Do not hurry. Nothing about this day asks to be changed, things being just as they are. Come, let us breathe in unison with the cattle in their long stare across the creek on this fine Sunday morning slipping away, this day we cannot hold on to, taking whatever comes like the drifting hawk that rises up in the sky. Kneel down in the tall grass in simple perfection with the...

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Rain

By on May 26, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

I went out on my porch around nine at night and listened to the trees reciting rain. It had been falling all that afternoon. At some point that I missed, that something-like-that-Zen way of feeling the World overcame me (whatever me is) and the World went its way Without me — Only that sound, Trees, And someone I remember that might have been me Reciting...

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The Romantic

By on May 26, 2019 in Poetry | Comments Off

On bleary mornings, Eos on my way to work, twenty years, my matins, I passed a coppice, a sloughing of limbs, tall, splendid oaks, condensed diorama forest emerging from haze. I’d envision a doleful wanderer, an abbey ruin, Casper David Friedrich’s bleak, romantic painting. The modern came crashing, suddenly a rude huffing, greasy bulldozer, a hole in the ground, a house, concrete, lumber, vinyl, bramble of wire and pipe, razing my sublime, though the trees seemed glad for the company — too much gloom. Who knows? Kids may play in bits of shade, long summer...

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