I am lying in the sun
on a rock in mid-river,
white water curling past.
When I was twenty
and had the right shoes (and legs)
I'd race the water down
from boulder to boulder, defying
Heraclitus: I've often stepped
in the same river twice.
Tree-trunks shoot upward,
explode above me
into slow August fireworks.
Who is it here
who feels April at his back
in the rock,
in his face,
on either hand?
In no time, time passes.
-- Bill Holshouser
in Naked Bread
Submitted by Susan Donnelly
in tribute to our much-missed
MORNING ON OCEAN AVENUE
A longish while I've watched a grey-brown gull
-- or duck, I'll have to check the Peterson guide --
make toward what seems to be a lobster buoy.
Puzzling purpose, if admirable form.
The buoy's spanking white and black and yellow.
Is it a place to rest before paddling on?
Hedges of beach plum, blackbirds, honeysuckle
somewhere near, and just past the breakwater
the Veronica G. sets out for a day's fishing.
I see now that the lobster buoy can swim,
it's yellow-throated, winged with black and white,
and that the grey-brown bird has caught it up,
circling her mate. Who flaps, looks wooden again.
BLEU DE TERMIGNON
In a village thirteen hundred meters up
in the French Alps
one woman keeps her nine cows
in the Park of Vanoise,
where they feed on grass and flowers.
These flowers are the source
of the blue mold
that passes naturally into the milk.
The cheese she makes is of great quality,
a little fatty, down-to-earth, refined.
The mold develops, spreads its map
of veins. The crust
is white and brown, rocklike.
The pâte--the filling--
is crumbly. During affinage,
the ripening and curing,
she turns the cheese and wipes it
daily, for five months.
This fermier cheese,
made in its mountain hut so lovingly,
is best with Tokay wine, or with a white
Radcliffe Culinary Times
THE BEGGING GIRL
The whole time I've sat here
at the coffee shop window
no one's given her anything.
It puts people off, that jivey,
almost-dance as she comes up,
with a smile that says you and she
share a joke. In her twenties
probably, good clothes, fresh-faced,
but awry somehow,
like the way she spoke
just now, as I came from the bank
any sweeties? something like that
I didn't quite catch, and startled,
-- do I know her? --
I hurried past, since it was pouring.
Most people don't even stop.
Only one starts to talk with her,
then, step by step, backs away.
Whenever the sidewalk's empty,
she stops jigging, walks under rain
in a slow circle. Her head is bent.
She doesn't pull up her hood.
-- Susan Donnelly
Poetry Ireland Review (PIR99)
THE POTTING SHED
<for Jay and Ted>
"Ignorance is your chief asset," the poet said.
This time, for certain. I know full well that
home is only steps away, and just beyond
the arcaded fence is a commuter rail line.
We're within earshot of the firehouse,
on a nondescript New England city side street.
But anyone as obtuse as me
about climate, terrain, and vegetation,
could dream this was tucked away
in a corner of Tuscany or near the Pyrenees --
just an easy stroll from fine local wine,
fresh-baked bread, a hearty hunter's stew;
not in the corner of a yard
on a New England city side street.
Sometimes, as now,
delusion is its own best reward.
||Every Other Thursday is a Cambridge-based poetry collective which has been meeting every other Thursday since 1980. Members read regularly throughout the greater Boston area, and between them have published over 25 books of poetry.|