May 4, 2016

Three Poems By John Stanizzi: "What Cannot Be Held", "What is Not Understood", "First Timers"

John L. Stanizzi is the author of the chapbook, Windows.  His full length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall (www.antrimhousebooks.com), and After the Bell, and Hallalujah Time! (www.bigtablepublishing.com).  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New York Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, Passages North, The Spoon River Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Boston Literary Review, and many other publications.  He has new work forthcoming in Raintown Review, Off the Coast, Black Cat Moon, and LIPS.  John has read at many venues throughout Connecticut, including The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, RJ Julia Booksellers, and the Arts Café Mystic, and his work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.  He is currently an adjunct professor of English at Manchester Community College.  John is currently at work on two volumes --  Hallelujah Time! – Volume II, the follow up to his recently released Hallelujah Time!  and another book of poems called Sundowning.  He lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry, Connecticut. http://www.johnlstanizzi.com






-what cannot be held-
July 7, 2000 – 6:35 a.m.


marsh –
a brush stroke of glass


___


great blue heron invisible
against the shore’s gray rocks –
the sky fallen behind trees


___


swallows on a wire
preen their notches and vees –
swallows in the air
tangled up
beak to beak
flutter down –
and everywhere the sound of wings


___


sparrow’s voice sharp
through the wide growl of obscure trucks


___


two gulls on the chimney –
the bony finger of Long Island
on the razor of the horizon


___


rabbit out of nowhere
right here –
who can be still enough?


___


The sea a silver coin melting in the sun –
the silver grass around it bowing


___


-meditation


blue ball on rocky sand –
shadow of a bee
dragged by an electric sound –
shadow of a towel
cool flag on hot ground –
sea breeze
gusty wheeze –
shadow of a shadow
deep invisible darkness –
night on night




-what is not understood-
July 9, 2000 – 6:30 a.m.


distracted by the downy’s small drum
red-winged blackbird’s conk-a-reeee
thrum of shower-drip
baby rabbit’s wobbly hop
speck of a creature gliding over mountains of sand
gut-grunting heron –
    these have obliterated the way to neat endings
final utterances that hold up to the light
that which has just been said
so that the light bursts through
the negative spaces
is caught on the sharp edges
is torn open
and explodes into light upon light upon light


___


rose
goldfinch
mullein – velvet and yellow
egret in reedgrass


___


a baby rabbit
stands on hind legs
stretches itself tall
fells a slender stalk of spiked grass
right near the top
with the shears of its front teeth –
and with a mouth that never stops
takes it all in


___


red-winged blackbird
bounces gently
attached sideways
to a tall stalk of reedgrass
in a breeze that isn’t there


___


-swallows battle
-egrets stalk
-mourning doves poke
-red-winged blackbirds shriek, alarmed
-rufous sided towhee’s clear voice above the sound of the sea
and – incredibly – church bells
noise – disturbing the marsh


___


-miracle-


after watching a snowy egret
stand in one place
for over an hour
it flew to the far end of the marsh –


as I returned to my chair in the yard
a white feather floated out of the sky
to my feet


___


-pieces-


jagged glide of egret
visible for a moment
through reeds


*


swallow’s spastic
flutter straight up
higher and higher
toward clouds
gray and slowly moving in


*


two great egrets
one snowy egret
one great blue heron
one green heron


*


yesterday’s heat
the heat of fifteen summers passed
salt-pond
the butterfly still there
always there


*


luna moth pinned down
fighting for its life
beneath the massive beak of the mockingbird


*


the thought of you smiling
is given to me
by the goldfinch



-first timers-
July 10, 2000 – 6:20 a.m.

the sky is gray
but for the suggestion of pink
seeping through here and there


___


the rabbit is asleep –


the snowy egrets haul their orange feet
into the low marsh tide –


crabs retreat in rockweed and mud


___


five great egrets in the rain in the steely marsh


___


a flicker surfs the air
and lands right there
on that lowest branch –
hops down to forage in stony sand


___


common yellow throat’s proclamation –
hear it
against the backdrop of fragments?


___


brown thrasher in the reedgrass –
cormorants rising from the marsh –
song sparrow – light bounce
on reed top –


and his entire song
beginning to end
over and over


___


gray cottages emerge from the overcast
and look out onto the marsh
from behind rounded maples –
the rectangle faces so still and resolute
in the monochrome dawn


___


a feather pressed between the pages of a journal –
a feather and a stalk of reedgrass –
-that which floated to the ground –
-that perch from which the sparrow sang –
-and two petals – one red – one white –


-these I have stolen


___


-two views –


1


what remains of yesterday’s heat and stellar sunlight
is this gray dawn
this cool breeze
this rain dancing on the marsh
tapping out a rhythm –
the sad drone of what has passed


2


what remains of yesterday’s heat and stellar sunlight
is this gray dawn
this cool breeze
this rain dancing on the marsh
tapping out a rhythm –
a most beautiful song of splashes and bubbles
of shimmering puddles
and jewels falling from everywhere –
the quiet above the quiet
that give us breath


___


-- after Carlos Drummond De Andrade


the synchronized flight of two swallows –
two swallows in flight – synchronized –
the flight in synchronization of two swallows –


“…may I never forget this event.”

~John Stanizzi 



 

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