Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sample Poems: Volume 19

Song for Natalie
by Jonathan Blake

Tired and overcome
with the fragrance of lilac
I sink into my chair.
Cold wine and the pale spring moon.

Suddenly, Natalie, my neighbors'
young daughter is running
into the coming darkness,
shouting angrily that she is old
enough, old enough, old enough.

She has not noticed the moon.
Is not drunk with lilac and the dying
lavender sky; does not know that she is not
old enough, but that with each step
into the terrible darkness she moves closer
to that moment when she too will stagger
into the face of beauty,
the heart knowing its burden,
when the brilliant moon
and the sweet lilac, and the quiet night
are enough.
Near Firenze
by Kathy Solomon
for Sue and Jan

If I had not been standing on that ladder with the sun
just so on the yellow wall...if I had not
been reaching

                               to retrieve the hair clip
that had slipped from my fingers a moment before
as I leaned from an upstairs window into this very
postcard of a morning.. and if that barrette
had not been caught by the wooden ledge below...
if you

                               had not called out my name
from the shade of that shed, and raised your hand
to show me where you stood - only your hand visible
as it moved into stunning brightness...and if I had not
clutched the red beam for balance
as I turned,

                               so that when I turned back
to face the wall again, my eyes held the image of two
hands: yours, fading as I blinked, above my own...

I might never have seen those four faint crescents
in the clay: those marks like a few days
from a calendar of lunar modes, those fingerprints
left by someone with bigger hands than mine,
someone long ago

                               who must have been the one
to swirl the stucco when the sun-cooked wall was new.
He must have reached

                               for balance too, and left his mark
above the wood, grasped the sill as I did when someone
called to him. Or was it the perfume
of a woman's hair as she passed below that turned
his head? Was he startled by an unexpected sound -

                               not a loud one:
the prints aren't deep enough - a single strand
of music, some half-heard song, that brushed his cheek,
tickled his ear, in its rush down the long colonnade
                               of time and sunlight?

True Love
by Donald W. Baker
It's always hopeless. The woman is too smart,
or you can't manage the words. Or the ecstasy sinks
because you bleed the last of each other's courage
when the morning comes, that balanced minute,
the light spreading across the sheets,
when you perceive the profile of a human being
beyond the drying pleasure. Then you need guts and luck,
luck that she's the one you could stay naked with,
guts to pull day after fatuous day out of the future.
Once in a while, though, you come close.
That dawn in the hotel opposite the station,
you thought you'd found it, the whole night
almost perfect, flesh, charity, jokes, breakfast
in bed, sleet against the panes, and all the poetry
you'd tenaciously believed in flooding up in you.
But she kept the damned ring on, and you complained,
and then you argued about which train to take next time.
So nothing came of that but a bad conscience
and Christmas cards for half a dozen years.

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