we blow the electron dust from the blog archives for two January
entries with poems. The first
from this date way back in 2013 can be copied exactly as originally
presented—the conditions described are virtually identical today.
It’s the second really cold night
of the year here in McHenry County. Still no snow on the ground but the weather
guy on one channel says that if we cross our fingers and toes we
could get a dusting tomorrow and the sleeveless weather babe on the
competition sweeps her arms gracefully in front of the green screen and agrees.
I stepped on the porch to
crush some cans for recycling and took in the night sky. There was a light thin and patchy haze through
which the brightest stars and planets could be seen and the past
full Moon high over the house shone
in a frosty halo.
Once several years ago on an even
colder night I was taking the garbage and recycling out in the wee
small hours of the morning to the curb for pick up. It was one of those crystal nights. I looked up.
Suddenly the Stars
unseen since god knows when—
explode against the Arctic night.
blank shelf of stratus bars them,
no haze or mist obscures them,
no scudding cirrus race the wind to hide
fierce orange glow of pollution
cannot obscure them.
old Orion does his somersault
across the heavens,
ursine dippers pivot, reel
upon bright Polaris’s steady blaze,
forgotten constellations process
with timeless dignity,
long –lost Milky Way splatters half across
folk knew these stars,
measured life blood by their glow,
fixed on them for certainly against death
steered by their light where no marking
showed he way,
found their gods among them,
and sacrificed to them in sacred
years have passed,
these stars unseen, unrecognized,
nor even missed
amid a world of roofs, electric lights,
other things to do, other lives to lead—
until this night,
when they come a calling
and change everything.
This poem appeared in a slightly different form in We Build Temples in the Heart published in 2004 by Skinner House Books of Boston. Autographed copies are available upon request for $8 including postage. Post a request in the comments or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and a mail address.
later I woke up in a near panic over this.
Process, you ask. How do you
create a poem? Here’s one way. Pathetic when you think about it.
I wake up in
for want of a word
for a douche bag.
No, not some
low life idiot—
that hung once
in the bathroom
that smelled of lavender
where stockings dripped
from the shower rod
and steam misted
the pink flamingo decals
on the mirror.
I need the
word that will not come
with consuming urgency.
It has a
place in a line of verse
spelling itself out
in hand carved wooden
Gothic type blocks
on old linen paper.
times it seems
that it is almost there
ready to fall into
its urgent place.
German Gothic woodblock type font.