Poetry

Lost Overnight in the Woods

Lost Overnight in the Woods

Casting Away

Casting Away

            for Turner Cassity

 

What burning force
beyond the curtain
of all that’s certain
draws us out from shore
into solution?

What glitter over
twilit water parses
hidebound human
parts to droplets
in an ocean,

our needs made
slight and slender
as the reeds we were
surrender to
redemptive motion.

In Montmartre Cemetery

In Montmartre Cemetery

The seated statue on Nijinsky’s tomb
Depicts him in the role he thought his best—
The gentle, solitary puppet whom
A jealous impresario oppressed.
In his clown costume with its collar ruff
And tasseled cap, he rests with chin in hand,
As if conceiving  he might yet pull off
The sane and independent life he planned.

Lines For Turner Cassity

Lines For Turner Cassity

Librarian with military bearing,
You’ve left us poems critics call unsparing,

A wit not merely clever but hard-bitten.
Sometimes I hear you utter, “overwritten,”

And even at this distance, there’s no choice
But hear the word in that distinctive voice,

Not circumflexing drawl, dipthonged legato,
But southern, brisk particular staccato—

Inimitable voice—for never cruel—
Impatient only of the pompous fool

Kin

Kin

The Borders of Gaza

The Borders of Gaza

In breakfast eggs I crush ghost bones and beaks
and send in tongue-loads of unborn idea-chicks:

Limber lives made and unmade, thought and lost,
the twisted dead of daily holocausts.

Bland golden ovals, suns to fuel internal war,
as if either saved or wasted lives meant more.

Willed to eat without an appetite,
I hope vindictive deaths are right.

Dust, No Wind

Dust, No Wind

Your mind is full of things you can’t control.
If only you could drift in dreams.  You toss.
On another continent a rose unfolds.
You stare across the ceiling, feeling lost.

A soldier lays her rifle on the ground.
Others clatter bullets in a bucket.
You curl up on your bed as if on frozen ground.
A woman ducks a slap and seems to smirk.

Something New

Something New

She Resolves to Control Her Mouth

She Resolves to Control Her Mouth

Brotherhood

Brotherhood

          Artane Boys’ School, near Dublin, 1963,
          run by The Congregation of Christian Brothers.

Syndicate content