Bio Note: I began publishing poems five years ago, after an interruption of some thirty years, when the late Firestone Feinberg accepted a handful of poems for Verse-Virtual. Lately I'm trying to maintain my poem-a-day pace, writing fiction, newspaper stories, and struggling to figure out how an older white guy with more mouth than muscle joins the struggle to preserve democracy and extend justice to those born outside the magic circle of privilege. For poems, flower pics, and occasional politics see www.prosegarden.blogspot.com.
Classical Style Only*
My daughter slide-steps sideways down the path at Notchview Reservation, arms akimbo, see-sawing in stately fashion She’s ‘walking like an Egyptian,’ so the cant phrase goes, because of course the trail sign clearly states: “Classical Style Only” I am trying to imagine a fashionable Athenian or Augustan way of proceeding while lacking a toga, or a tunic, or whatever cloaked sublimely homely Socrates when he paced up and down the Agora directing flights of reasoned disputation to mind-unfogging peepholes into the ‘World of Forms,’ a process copied by the rhetorical imitations of Caesar or Cicero, laying out clear pathways for a stunningly decisive Ablative Absolute ...although my own poor gesture at 'style' is clearly lacking a third dimension. But no! The 'Ah-ha!' moment: These terms of engagement miss by a mile the undeclared premise the trail makers assume: What’s plainly demanded is a cross-country skier with mind and body in perfect alignment... Ahhh, now we see – But whoa!-- Heads up, folks! Here’s Wolfgang roaring up from behind in a Ford Deuce Coupe, that long-playing classic, with both cadenzas blasting!
(*”Notchview offers an idyllic escape for winter sport enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels…17 kilometers of trails are groomed and track-set for classical cross-country skiing” — www.xcskimass.com/ski-areas/about-notchview)
When the tempest came the leaves shrieked like frightened birds The sky streamed its unresolved rhythms like a song made of frantic minutes rapped on a steel drum Wind raised the branches of the trees, shivering the season-soaked leaves down to a secret slime of saturated hours and mealy, mortal time When the wet wind raves blackbirds latch their claws to skinny shrubs, beaks lance at nothing, black knights jousting with shadows Ascending, later, to higher realms where winds of change soothe them with promises of golden leaves, fat worms, and fairy tales of spring
As Times Change (iii)
The music of the best damn soap you ever watched or even imagined, how it courses its sweet corrosive through your gut, as intestinal as eating, digesting, working its way through the lower tract Holy shit, you think. I don't know who the hero is this time, or the heroine, even, in this mélange of dreamy reminiscence, and not sure I ever will But I am all the characters of my father's house I am all the stars in a familiar sky It will rain on me, if rain there will be, I will face the heavens and dream my way through nostalgic constellations, I will walk beneath the ruddied, thumpy, keyed-up clouds, take myself out at midnight to seek the hungry trees of winter and implore their reassurance, tracing the line of their wet-smoke reverie through the twist of their thick-veined bark Gather their roots in my hands, (and my roots in their hands) nails chipped by the gathering, dig the grubs, embrace the dark and lowering skies I will change with the grim, transporting seasons, I will wait for the storm to train its golden arrows upon me and take the squawk of a single crow to be the love song of the ages.
(After the instrumental song "As Times Change" by Kathryn Toyama, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf4n5VruwvU)
©2020 Robert Knox
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