Monday, October 5, 2009

Here's a first cut at another Halloween poem. I reserve the right to revise it.

Their Woods

There in the dark
Everything seemed older than me
My uncle, my cousins, the woods
But especially the woods

After a day of fishing at the creek
We gathered on the road to the barn
At the place by the henhouse
Where it forked and went down
To the pond in the woods

A small expedition
Launched at night
To carry the bait trap
Down to the pond
Where the crawdads
Would keep fresh

I didn’t want them to go without me
I was worried they might come back changed
Bonded in some way I could not know
Or caught and replaced by monsters
And I would never know

But I was scared
And the white circle of light
From the hissing gas lantern
Seemed too small and fragile
To keep back the woods and the dark

Or perhaps I was afraid
That they might change
Down there in the woods
And I would not

So I stayed behind
And I’ll never know
What the pond was like
In the woods that night
And whether they changed

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For a Departed Swimming Pool

The man we hired to fill the old pool
Got the backhoe through the fence, but
To get his dump truck into the yard
Had to uproot a burning bush
Which proved to have a nest of bumble bees
In its roots

And now they swarm there
Awaiting Diaspora from the from the only home
They’ve ever known
A world of shade and green
Become a wasteland of mud and straw

Milling about not enraged but hapless
Longing for the promised land
Waiting for their Moses
To lead them across the dirt filled pool
Away from pharaoh and his backhoe

But until they depart
We must go quietly
And put on our shoes
As though crossing holy ground