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Posts Tagged ‘C. E. Chaffin’

You, Cardinal

May 21, 2013 2 comments

by C. E. Chaffin

Crimson startled the snow—
powder shook from his feet.
Between sunflower seeds
his raccoon eyes
gave no thought
to benefactors
so I buried my face
in the editorial section
like a hunting blind,
hoping he’d linger.

Above the paper’s
pinking shears edge
I’d spy him,
handsome as a captain,
his pyramidal tuft
like a helmet’s crest—
and I had gotten used to him
and he, perhaps to me,
when glancing over
a column by George Will
he was gone.

The void surprised me.
What did I expect—
that he would stay?
The mind wants hope
and you, cardinal,
though your feathers
be dipped in blood,
know little of the sadness
new absences bring.


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C. E. Chaffin (website) lives in Mendocino, California, with his wife and dog. He has two books to his credit, the latest being Unexpected Light. He has been a featured poet in over twenty magazines and an editor for many others.

Tectonic Illusion

October 31, 2008 4 comments

Arches and blowholes ― it is not the land
That’s being eaten now but sea. Bedrock
Is rising up, slow hand-over-hand
Experiment, pointing to ten o’clock.
The bedrock’s hard to carve but harder still
For the Pacific plate to buckle under,
Submitting to the North American will.
It’s lucky our coast isn’t torn asunder.
Yet to look out at the dark islands
With their tunnels, monoliths and caves
You’d think the flowering meadow of the headlands
Was being assaulted as the sea enslaves.
Things are not always as they appear.
The land is dining on the sea ― how queer!

by C. E. Chaffin

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