Saturday, January 19, 2008

skate, sword, pocketwatch

In his poem “From Garvey’s Farm: Seneca, Wisconsin” Ed Hoeppner offers us this sentence:

On clear nights, the moon goes
skating past the northern lights
which flicker like the sword outside Eden;
if it’s cloudy, the stars drop
their pocketwatches: snow comes ticking down.

That’s a skate, a sword, and an uncountable number of pocketwatches, three very different metaphors in one sentence. I picture the stars getting fumbly with their pocketwatches, disturbed, no doubt, by the swishing of that weirdly pretty sword, just as the moon swooshes by backwards in one of those skin tight skate racer suits.

Then he bothers the old paperboy in me:

The paper is late, comes in a pickup.
Spread on the kitchen table, it says
that the boy who usually delivers
has dropped from an iceboat
into the moving water below the dam.

Too bad. But there’s good news:

The weather promises to hold:
another clear night, another moon
skating …

source: Anthology of Magazine Verse 1980

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