Posts Tagged river

Daybreak

Two mangy dogs down by the Claverack Creek

Insist that, on early spring mornings,

County Road 25 belongs to canines,

Not cars, silence or jogging poets,

So each morning they come at me

 

In all their dirty, furry little anger,

Balancing their pace with their courage,

Until I turn and jump toward them, arms out,

The sudden star of an Off-Broadway musical,

A move any crackpot poet knew was coming.

 

I’m no man of headaches and this one took three days

To take off, lifting like a flock of geese,

Clucks and double clucks,

A retired steam locomotive on the Fourth of July,

The coughing and whispering of pressurized air.

 

My furry henchmen, having exchanged glances,

Steal away, bewildered, as many an audience.

Then, conquering the moment, I stand by the river

Where the other morning I stepped in

And swam against the current, moving and not moving.

 

Writing is what happens while you’re sleeping

And at daybreak, it all comes floating by —

Familiar voices, a missing paragraph, this poem.

All the poet has to do is the living, the loving,

The exhilarating loneliness of typing.

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Arlington Sonnet

The day our enemy said he would darken our way
Fall was splendid, it was summer almost
I boarded a train for the Chesapeake Bay
My scarf fell, my sadness, and also my coat
They had declared our capital the next to quiver
Not short of breath, nor short of will
I crossed, ‘cause I could, the Potomac River
And walked the bittersweet Arlington hills
I came from afar; I wasn’t born on this shore
Of loud thunder and keen voices calling
Yet here lies the father of my mother-in-law
In the white ocean, the stones of the fallen
I stand there alone by Kennedy’s tomb
Where magnolias, imperfection and oak branches loom

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