Poetry Friday


There are a number of book bloggers out there who regularly post poetry on Friday, so I thought I’d join them this week.

Earlier this week, one of our patrons, Ward Worden, presented me with his new, and first, book of poetry. I’ve known Ward for a few years now, and knew that he was a sophisticated reader. He’s a gentle soul, quiet, polite, and pleasant. I had no idea he was a poet. He lost his wife a couple years ago, and I suspect that some of the poems are about her illness and death. So, for Poetry Friday readers, I present selections from Winter Robins by Ward Sheldon Worden.

Fanfare for Devon Maschke

Blow, you great pipes, shake the houses,
And the little timbrels, let them squeal with pure delight.
Your lovliest melodies, oboe, violin, I entreat you
And every tuned string, sing yourself out of sound itself,
While the double-bass beats time on the floor.

Listen now,
While ten pianos carol together.
Their silver flying chords keep on resounding
To the last faint overtone —
And then a woman’s voice — O pure contralto,
She sings of gratitude for life, for love, for both unending.

Hush now, for he must sleep,
Eyes shut in peace, with tiny fingers curled across the blanket,
Little Devon, darling of the families, in two countries.

Curled Up

Her time suspended, she’s in another time
Where space is curved– charmed beginnings, gentle endings,
Through a parade of chapters, each
With its peculiar fragrance. And everything
Is slightly out of focus except the one place. Significance reigns,
And the Moral Law, devious and disguised,
Always gets his man. She recognizes the people there,
So friendly and marvelously full of their lives.
They mostly have servants, ignore work,
And never go to the bathrooms. See how they fall in love,
Slay dragons, sacrifice themselves — all without
Leaving the plot they themselves have made.
And there’s that Other: He never leaves her side,
Liek Vergil, knowledgeable, condescending, pointing the way,
At times he’s annoying; she is never quite sure what e is up to.
She wakes,
Her finger still in the cleft where worlds collide.

The day is shot,
And there is nothing in the house to eat,
And that stain in the carpet looks different, larger now.