Posts Tagged Upstate

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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Recipe For Dried Apples

After summer in New York
Fall feels like spring
And then a birthday in October
Reminds you it’s precious to get older

So you leave town
Shy of the morning commuters
To pick apples upstate in the drizzle,
Smelling the dirt, the wet grass

As your hand reaches for that apple
That the ones before you couldn’t quite reach
And then you drive home like after church
Under foliage the color of all sermons

You find an old Danish recipe for dried apples
You scald Mason jars for aquavit
Adding vanilla, star anise, cinnamon sticks
Then you seal the lids. Winter.

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