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Posts Tagged ‘David Graham’

Piseco Shore 3

June 5, 2008 3 comments
Categories: Water Tags:

Ashes to Ashes, Water Over All

June 4, 2008 5 comments

Piseco, August 2007

Accompanied only by
my dog, I bury Dad’s ashes
in the rock garden.

Mom asked for no fuss,
no ceremony at all,
but I invent my own:

rinsing this jar
his ashes came in
with Piseco Lake

water, then pouring it
slowly over the ash
and dirt and mint

green still in displaced
earth—a small shower
that says water we are

and water we shall be.
Dad, who rowed into
and out of the mist

every morning on this
long loved lake, might
as well rest here

as in any supernal
cloud, or marked by
any chiseled stone.

Who was water then
and is water now.
Blood, sperm, tears,

the sweat of fever,
all salted with what
we might as well call

love, and so I do.

by David Graham

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Categories: Water Tags:

Air Is Not Nothing

April 18, 2008 3 comments

What did I think the hectic bats
and nighthawks were doing,
swooping and skimming overhead,
if not feasting on the invisible?
Air is not nothing, and at night
thickens like soup with moths, gnats,
sticky-shelled beetles, junebugs,
mosquitoes, midges, black flies,
and the tiny specks we call no-see-ums
that flit right through a windowscreen.

Stand still long enough, and you’ll hear
the true music of the spheres:
a million tiny wingbeats, rustle
of grubs and beetles in the leaf mat,
tremble of antennae and eyelash legs,
the minuscule wind of earwigs,
spiders spinning their convolutions,
caterpillars munching grass blades,
mosquitoes with tiny engines revved.

Now, the glitter of a cattail stand
blossoms with fireflies, all those bellies
aglow with lust in this humid air,
those sudden constellations
fading and re-forming all night long —
a Morse my mind can read
all it wants while my belly glows.

by David Graham

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The Dead Alive and Busy

March 10, 2008 6 comments

—Henry Vaughan, “To His Books”

On an Adirondack path
near Fall Lake my dog
halts to puzzle over
a glossy black mass
of what was once
a squirrel, perhaps,
or a day-shy mink—
no way to tell which,
the stink so far advanced
all that’s left is a few gobs
of flesh dark as leaf rot,
a couple tufts of fur,

so the shock of shocks
comes when, bending
to tug at my dog’s collar,
I see the heap suddenly
shift, that horror-flesh
somehow alive, dissolved
muscles still seething
in rank air, a vanished
leg twitching,

and though it takes but
a moment for reason
to suggest the truth,
a beetle colony busy
in that corpse, their shells
shiny with bright yellow
strips—color of warning
now rising amidst the awful
jelly, then sinking again—

though the moment passes
and earth resumes
its laws, it is time enough
to smell the horrid stench
that cannot fade even
in sweetest air.

by David Graham

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