Saturday, August 11, 2018

223/365/Poetry and Form

Near Entriken

You are almost asleep when that whip-poor-will
begins his serenade outside your window,
the one he will repeat tonight and each night into autumn.
Last summer you dubbed his noise suicide song
and often threatened him with your bedside slingshot.
He is unexpected, forgotten, yet at once vividly
recalled, the bold herald of your bedtime.

May has taken you by surprise.
Short-term memory finds you tapping trees
and boiling sap, warming hands and lungs
in the steamy sugar shed.
There is no long-term memory.
This morning you walked to the lake,
tried again to imagine its absence.
Sometimes you believe you are the ghost of Jimmy Grove,
evicted when the dam moved in; at home
on his land, roaming his woods, sleeping again
in the house he built on the hill.
Only love of the water betrays you.

A whip-poor-will can be heard for miles,
but this old goatsucker won’t budge
from the bedroom window. Near Entriken
spring sleep is as thick as the syrup
and soon you slip into it, suspended
as the bird’s sound.


  1. This is absolutely wonderful. I can barely detect the condescending.

    But seriously. This is my favourite month so far. You are all amazing.

  2. "unexpected, forgotten, yet at once vividly recalled, ..." This so perfectly describes something I experience all the time, but never thing about trying to articulate.

  3. Ooooh, I like this so much (and glad the whip-poor-will's suicide song did not become your homicide song).

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  5. This is lovely; I will think upon it for a long time tonight. The best poems are like that, haunting you a little. It feels familiar...did I read it before?