Poet's Corner: 27 April 2011

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 in Culture

Poet's Corner: 27 April 2011

Poet's Corner offers poetry written by Maine poets as a cultural service. We are pleased to present poems this week by Leah C. Stetson and C. Marecic. As always, the ideas expressed are the poets' own.

 

IF I WERE AN ISLAND

For Jodie

If I were an island, I’d be lined with rocks and seaweed;
My pebbled beaches strewn with pieces of brick and shell,
Sea glass: blue cobalt, milky, blood red, bottle green,
And sprigs of salt grass, sea lavender and rusty nails.
Up close I am not pristine.

After I’ve cried, even from laughing too hard —
A nor’easter — blades of eel grass lash together,
Drying in the sunshine, flaked and sticky as eyelids
Squinting through sea mist that makes boats slip
And nimble feet grip, then muckle onto anything rigid.
The air around me is an unpredictable weather.

Leave my shore and find an unkempt shady haven:
Moss and wildflowers, tall pines with an osprey nest,
Beds of long grasses flattened by deer, or some fairy maiden,
Who once reclined there to read tea leaves, or rest,
Doe-eyed and dreamy, she smelled sweet fern and breathed deeply.
My spirit is both wakeful and sleepy.

Hidden farther in, a grey-shingled cottage sits on millstone.
In bad winter storms, the stocky house has trembled
but stayed intact. Inside the rooms are cozy, decorated in cool earth tones.
Stacks of books and magazines and papers and things assembled
themselves on a big heavy wood desk. Jars held pens and the odd razor clam.
Such well-ordered chaos I, too, have resembled.

If I were an island, I’d float with thousands beside me
an archipelago dotted like gull droppings along the Maine coast.
I’d be a curled shaving off the glacial sculpture; a jagged, leaning, steep
Lopsided pose. I rose… out of the depths, the Gulf Stream, a hot ghost.
Rosa rugosa spread its salty pink blossoms and thorny
Silk petals to lure artists and poets and tourists and pirates.      
I let them come but I don’t make it easy.

Leah C. Stetson

________________________________________________

 

LAST NIGHT A DOG BARKED

 

Last night a dog barked

at the wind through the trees

once again confounding fear

wildness and boredom

like a religious zealot

lost in the labyrinth of justifications

placing hope in the

off chance that rustling leaves or

creaking branches belie something more ominous

than the distant rumble of thunder portends. 

Only rain.

Yet, those ears habituated to years of complicit domesticity --

cars grumbling down the dirt driveway,

droning television commercials, a fork scratching a dinner plate, or

a perpetually leaking faucet --

hear the taunt of the wild in every single thing outside

like coyote laughter

and this alone puts them on edge.

 

C. Marecic

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