Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Two Poems by Rick Hartwell

Late Elegy

I recall sitting there on the floor, you and I,
dividing up our books into yours and mine.

You kept the boy, although his holidays,
like the tomes and paperbacks, were halved.

I don't remember the titles we argued over,
just the bitterness of our shared selfishness.

The boy was outside, swinging in half-arcs
from an oak beside our rented house in Felton.

So much of our marriage seemed rented, too,
hence ownership of the books weighed large.

I don't have left a single one of those books,
having given them away along with much else.

Our joining was ten years of due dates hit and
missed with wear and tear taken into account.

Together we buried two premature sons, some
friendships, numberless pets, and our feelings.

Thirty years later we buried the boy, you and I,
from our opposite sides of a high desert mosque.

I set aside any latent resentment when you died
soon after, yet we remain without reconciliation.

How It Feels to Watch the Sex of Surf

Bold, brash thrashings bursting forth,
tethered only to a fluid core.
Cantilevered medusas
beckon an arrested,
frozen shore.
Cacophonies of dazzling
color mesmerize the eyes.
Hypnotic, liquid hybrids
hunger, cannot be ignored.
They draw and repulse,
capture and expel.
Visual stings of concentration
focus the senses for an instant only,
then race backward again,
to be captivated again,
assaulted again
Cornucopias of form
and foam pour forth
until eyes, ears and mind
can hold no more
and sated,
avert, away
to think,
to ponder,
most of all,

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