Wednesday, December 27, 2006
poetry class! 2006!
We here at Stevereads thought we'd resurrect one more time our Poetry Class, with a culling of three poems from our archives. We know that at least three accomplished poets read this blog, and yet most of them (in fact, all of them except our dear John, the fourth truly wonderful poet by that Christian name we've known) have refrained from any comment whatsoever on the poems we've posted here.
We're painfully aware of the reason why. Yes, yes, our aesthetic sensibilities are a bit ... well, perhaps challenged? At any rate they pretty much stopped with Kipling and Service, so we give added weight to clear merical lines and perhaps some openly celebrated sentiment.
In any case, the tradition deserved, we thought, one last hurrah. So here they are, in no particular order:
Past midnight, and my umpteenth Zinfandel.
I type the Science Spotlight for tomorrow's
edition of the Global Sentinel:
The earth is losing species at a rate
comparable with the mass extinctions of the Cambrian, Devonian, Permian,
Triassi, and Cretaceous. The Gilded Toad
lived on a mountain range in Costa Rica,
and has not been seen for 15 years.
The Hawaiian Thrush was extirpated by
destruction of its forest habitat,
pathogens brought by introduced mosquitoes,
and competition from non-native species.
The Hawaiian Crow is also now extinct.
(a fish from Malagasy) disappeared
when swamps it lived in were converted to
fields to grow rice. A 'new' Brazilian
amphibian has not been sighted since
it was discovered 80 years ago.
What's happening now is more than can be seen
anywhere in the fossil record. These
annihilations, taking place for reasons
of climate change and new disease emergence,
are indications of climacteric things
which will affect us and our frailly balanced
productive economic systems, SOON.
In my same column thirty-eight years back:
the earth is threatened by its own pollution ...
Western Industrial Man is facing, NOW,
not just a challenge but a climacteric ...
(Those in the front seats should have paid attention.)
Prayer to Persephone for Mazy
Lady, please welcome our dog.
She comes alone and is easily scared. She never wanted
to be separated from us. Once in New Hampshire,
We climbed a look-out tower and left her.
at the bottom, by the flimsy metal ladder.
As I gazed at mountains and valleys,
someone yelled, 'Is that your dog?'
I looked down and saw her poised
On a rung, a trembling paw reaching
for the next, all that scary space
in between, and I flew down the ladder
and hugged her as she trembled and licked my face.
She likes to be scratched behind her ears,
Lady, will you hold her if she trembles?
By Small and Small: Midnight to 4 a.m.
For eleven years I have regretted it
regretted that I did not do what
I wanted to do as I sat there those
four hours watching her die. I wanted
to crawl in among the machinery
and hold her in my arms, knowing
the elementary, leftover bit of her
mind would dimly recognize it was me
carrying her to where she was going.