Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jennifer Atkinson

Several poems by the author. This reader prizes especially "St Veronica's Day" and the two ghazals -- slightly favoring the first.

Short takes

Ninety-four degrees:
Friday, the transition day --
rain, then cool and bright!

August 31st:
subverting the summer heat,
leaves begin to change.

Doctor will put me
on a thinning regimen
just in time for fall.

Heavenly barmaid!
Kick-ass sense of humor, and
Italian good looks.

It's that time of day --
fridge holds one cold beer, methinks.
Not for very long!

It seems like the first
day in the last week or two
that I've bought no books.

"Progressive" chapels
where the Mass is still the Mass
I don't mind at all.

Auden's naughtiness --
"Even Hate should be precise" --
always makes me smile.

Puer natus est!
My first cousin's a grandmom!
What does that make me?

Go, silly verses.
Make some reader chuckle; let
him forsake his woe.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The One Whose Reproach I Cannot Evade

by George Hitchcock (1914-2010)

She sits in her glass garden
and awaits the guests --
The sailor with the blue tangerines
the fish clothed in languages
the dolphin with a revolver in its teeth.

Dusk enters from stage left:
its voice falls like dew on the arbor.
Tiny bells
sway in the catalpa tree.

What is it she hopes to catch in her net
of love? Petals? Conch-shells?
The night-moth? She does not speak.
Tonight, I tell her, no one comes;
you wait in vain.

Yet at eight precisely
the moon opens its theatric doors,
an arm rises from the fountain,
the music box, face down
on her tabouret, swells and bursts
its cover -- a tinkling flood of
rice moves over the table.

She smiles at me, false believer,
smiles and goes in, leaving
the garden empty and my thighs
half-eaten by the raging twilight.