Otherwhere in Song…

In Spring, I finally hear them. Green tree frogs.
I’ve never seen one nor waded into their bogs,
or the odd swimming pool, or the marshes and creeks
where they croak, incessantly, like cicadas, for weeks,
(only when they’re silent, the sun might hide behind
a cloud, can I really hear the din). I should find
hundreds of them, the whole choir. Now, they’re gone,
the heat’s dried up the little brook. There’s none
in the garden, but still I look and see the sun cleave
a path through the weeping willow. I must leave
everything behind and listen. Barefoot, I tread
with nothing but the ghost of singing in my head.

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The Gift of a Poem

He brought a gift to the housewarming – a poem.

At first, the sun blinded him and the poem he had written

made little sense in the glare. The words blurred, lost form,

like sad aged eyes. He heard whisperings,

made false starts and repetitions.

He looked for exit signs and for a moment

he imagined everyone before him taking turns

to read aloud his own work.

And if you could ask, why a poem?

He’d say for today is the poets’ inauguration

“Seems something artists ought to celebrate.

Today is for my cause a day of days.

And his be poetry’s old-fashioned praise…”(*1)

 

A whirlwind rode through the plain

Snatched away the piece of paper in his hands

And so he read his gift outright; this time the one he knew by heart

“The land was ours before we were the land’s.” (*2)

Like a tree you can’t possess or be possessed by

But it is yours nevertheless to keep or give away

Plant a forest and see what will become of it

A tree is a tree and his was the gift of a poem.

*1 from For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration, Robert Frost

*2 from The Gift Outright, Robert Frost