Monthly Archives: June 2014

Early Summer, Cape Cod

Early Summer, Cape Cod

To the world we go, extinguishing and compelled.
Early summer evening. Through a knot of fireflies

A few stars showing. To the world
an evening of fireflies and an epoch of stars

are the same, just what I see, no difference.
I will remember this firefly and this evening

as they travel at light’s speed into a past
beyond existence at the same speed a star’s memory

travels into the future to meet this evening,
this view. To the world depth starts to go

its own way towards deterioration and someone
determines it’s time to start counting the stars.

Scargo Tower, Looking West

Scargo1

Scargo Tower, Looking West

 

On the east coast by the bay at the top
of a hill overlooking a lake filled they say

when a great whale thrown by a winter storm
crashed there or filled they say by the tears

of a young woman from the Scargo tribe
when it was clear her life would not be the same

and over the belt of a waist-high stone wall at the top
of a tower there though you are looking west

with me the width of a continent is a thread across
the horizon and above it the sun lowers itself

ablaze on the bay before it and again on the lake
of tears or it is the resigned eye of the whale still

lying there its shape waiting for the tide to bring it
back I have seen the sun set over two bodies

of water the strip of land scrub oak and pine between them
wider than the continent beyond a hundred times

from here I have seen the riotous light lean against clouds
knowing my home was here above the crown

of the highest tree I’ve chatted with tourists taken pictures
for them stood here long after they have left

felt the wind rush in over the trees gathering stones
when it was clear my life would not be the same

and now I am coming back again to this stone place
where looking over endless land you see nothing

but water and sky and the wide scrim
of a welcoming light that does not remember me

Six Thirteen Fourteen

Six Thirteen Fourteen (Honey Moon)

 

The sagging bottom of the sky tears on the mountain
and the gray spilling down ten miles away eventually

obscures the entire ridgeline. I’m out here to see the first
full moon rising on a Friday the thirteenth in June

in a hundred years, and now the horizon is missing.
In the highest branches of the old walnut tree

the leaves are flinging the last rays of sun away
with such chaotic gusto I can’t tell where the wind

is coming from. Closer to the ground the silver maple
holds its leaves out completely level, motionless

as if confirming that, somewhere, here for
the moment anyway, all is calm. The mist arrives

on slender legs ten minutes later, apologetically calm
and thinning the distance: the mountains have moved closer

like how a memory of someone far away suddenly appears
as a thing you want to climb, or a barrier on the path.

And still there is no moon. In bed before midnight
I feel a sudden rush of love for you

as if I myself had just broken through life’s haze,
glowing and spherical, irreducible, reaching without

fail. While the most I see out my window later
is a wedge of pure light through the shifting clouds

I will remember that moon and who I was suddenly,
how love shone off me from light’s source.

Rained Out

Rained Out

 

I never swore I would not write a softball poem!
Darkness strides down the high hill towards the field.

Taking its time so the mist beneath it can depend
like a hanging plant, motionless every time you look.

I turn away to watch the game but something taps my shoulder–
the first drops of rain. People are running for their cars

With their softball gloves on their heads. Though it lasts
only five minutes, the rain turns the red clay infield

Into a giant thumb print of the storm. The umpire
examines it like a tired detective then calls it a night.

Unaffected as true fans, the bluebirds whir and swerve
across the outfield, shagging flies.

Driftwood Days

Driftwood Days

 

The sea has examined me into this shape
I have come so far only because of what is left

How can I not accept it gratefully how can you not
if the entire sea can do it I would say give it a try

I do not have the power to observe you into love
but something of us both has been examined

Wave by wave into a lean slightness no vessel
because it goes all directions at once having come so far

with its hollows and whorls soothing to the waves
no difference between inside and outside

It no longer matters what is missing it never did it turns
out it was always this floating thing and never that

Evening Sky

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle

Evening Sky

from a painting by Liz Doyle and a photo by Ann Koplow

Night had already begun to hug the lowlands
when his back to the pale faces of the outbuildings

their remnant glow against the forgetting day
I thought I saw Turner out there

tying himself to a piece of sky shadow
to ride out the violent vault into night

A mile up the day was still swirling
like love thundering in the chest well after

the details have been lost still Turner
tearing clouds with his brush into the idea

of clouds wonders if he’s leaving
something out he’s never believed

the details mattered although they meant
all the moment could form into and change

From the cumulonimbus he sees an old man
preparing a thatch hut against the wind

And a town lobbing light into the sky
The man’s thoughts are fireworks reflected

In the village fountain and to Turner who feels
the clouds free him who feels he let go first

the fireworks in the fountain some times
are clearer than the fireworks in the sky

Ann Koplow

Ann Koplow

Moonless Night, Wondering

Moonless Night, Wondering

 

Like an important moment slid on its edge
or a memory blocked mostly by the dark present

Something seeming to shine as it descends
but not shining really but reflecting instead

this larger brilliance from the other direction
entirely and not descending but circling

as love circles and predators circle and
the confused prey circles and for all that

knowledge still it is the moon setting
over a local hill in early evening before

the first firefly I have seen all spring
lights up in my room on this moonless night