3 Poems of the Moment
Here are three poems I’ve posted to my Instagram account this month that are all essentially plein air ekphrastic works—a quick response to something spotted outside.
Spring Peepers at 39 Degrees
There is nothing visible to clue them in,
No sunlight, flowers, or flush of leaves,
Yet the frogs cry out from pools and puddles
Peeping up to find a mate, start life afresh
In unthought expectation of spring.
In the fog and cold rain that pelts my face—
Drops at maximum density—
Their song knows embodied what I know but
Do not act upon. Winter’s scarcity ends,
Warmth returns, and plans are now called for
To welcome the abundance of summer.
What bright music might come
From a banjo picked
To the washboard rhythm
Of bark on a chestnut oak?
What register can you hit
Chasing scales up a staff
Of nine leathery lines
Of armadillo bands?
Do the shape-note dots
Of sapsucker holes
In a poplar trunk
Mark out a new song?
Do wheel ruts on country roads
Forking from the middle distance
Hold a fading perfect pitch
After each firm footfall?
Or should I hear nothing
Except the silence
Of a blinding blue sky
And long February shadows?
Workers on An Invasive Shrub
At work, though no one sees,
Anticipate budding trees
With practice before a freeze
As church bells ride the breeze—
The world, for a moment, at ease.