Posts Tagged spring

The House of Dying

Here I am, in a Brooklyn backyard, reading Donald Hall,
A book of 1970s poems called “Kicking The Leaves”
From around the time when he moved back
To the old New Hampshire homestead where his
Great-grandfather farmed from after the Civil War

Until the year before the so-called Great War.
I’m told he still lives there, frail and old,
And recently The New Yorker published
What one could only read as the poet’s note of farewell.
Yet here I am, watching the birds in April

While the trees are budding and the difference
Between a male and a female sparrow becomes apparent:
The males marvel, posed but alert,
As the females shake their wings and asses,
A call for assistance from the reproductive branch.

On the pages, I return again to “the house of dying”,
A phrase written in the middle of life
And a terrific title for a book
That a person could write when he is done
Jotting down the lines of this poem and the next

With a cheap plastic pen from the Algonquin Hotel
And done sitting here, in this cathedral of spindly maples,
As cardinals, robins, finches, and brown thrashers
Descend from on high, like prayers
No one needs to answer.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Spring in New York

I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
And for sidewalks scattered with gloves
For three new construction sites down the block
And for strangers to piss me off

For neighbors smoking on fire escapes
At three o’clock in the morn’
Life in a city that never sleeps —
A life of kind-hearted ignoring

I thank Thee, Lord, for the BQE
For buses of tourists hoping to see
Authentic Brooklyn
Which it would be
Were it not for them
(not for me)

Oh, I thank Thee, Lord, for spring in New York
Where writers in their 30s write memories
Eating 30 dollar sustainable pork
And drink Pinot Noir out of Ball jars

I thank Thee for the kids in Underwood Park
Who cry, “Let’s play Barack Obama”
I wouldn’t have experienced that today
If my neighbor had been a dirt farmer

Oh, Lord, one more thing, before I forget
I thank Thee for aerodynamics
What New Yorkers need, time and again,
Is to fly off and assess the damage

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment