You know it has been a cold week when 20 degrees feels warm. Went out & filled the bird feeders, shoveled last night's inch of snow off the porch, started the old Subaru to see if it would go (cranked right over on the first try), and generally breathed outdoor air. When Carole gets home from the barn, the dogs are going to get their first walk in several days.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Balmy”


    As every scientist knows
    there are only four loves

    in the withering
    of a leaf

    though they seem to come from everywhere
    to meet themselves

    as strangers airborne
    in the ever-widening gorge of the world

    the love of falling
    the love of someone

    the love of a certain pigment
    the love of seeds

    only what is free itself
    can speak for freedom.

  2. i’m thinking of the inauguration on tuesday. i’m so happy for the peoples’ all peoples president.
    here are my balmy morning trinity of poems for this (the horse and cart poem was in my firs collection of poems 1973 titled DAMAGE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY)(the mayflower poem began in thinking of the work of economist jean-jacques lafont’s great work on the concept of ‘the commons’) (the red sky/jfkennedy poem comes out of a long life and my first voted-for president, my peace corps experience, and that old couplet the way i recall hearing it as a boy from my great grandmother jane delehant) ed (feeling hopeful and feeling overwhelmed with the orange paper lanterns of memories of what my mom and dad jack and ruth cared about and worked for all their lives) edward mycue :


    Contact is crying recognition.
    Like match against surface
    it is not the fire.
    Flint is stone cold.

    A little world, selected, limited—
    home—you come in

    to a house another time:
    maybe you’ve stopped

    For life
    not for red gold we work
    war, hunger
    dying forgetting forgotten.

    For life not for red gold
    our new Jerusalems struggle
    for simple dreams
    for days to end in.

    Not how it came. How did it go?



    Mayflower shoots

    into the wind hurling

    the thorn haw-fruit

    windward without aim

    careless of obstruction.

    In daytimes, people have unsavory reasons

    for things of human value, need, want and use.

    When night returns aisle 23B location marker

    in Long’s in North Berkeley drugstore lights-up

    listing cough drops, condoms and sundries.

    Mayflower shoots

    into the wind hurling

    the thorn haw-fruit

    windward without aid

    careless of obstruction.

    People share clean air and love, anger, happiness,

    contentment as if all unaware of roses, the apple,

    peach, Bing cherry, blackberry as if they are “free

    riders” as if mutual gains are not problems of “the

    commons” and they not beneficiaries of the commons.

    Mayflower shoots

    into the wind hurling

    the thorn haw-fruit

    windward without aid

    as if careless of obstruction.

    Yearly daily, hourly, every second people are hurling themselves

    windward unaware of the dynamics of the most common needs.

    No other proof need we like the hawthorn are related.

    Mayflower shoots

    into the wind hurling

    the thorn haw-fruit

    windward without aid

    as if careless of obstruction.




    Everybody has

    a given life.

    None get out alive.

    Sense, sex, intellect

    friends (maybe

    w/ benefits).

    Some learn or

    take instruction.

    Caring, Ecstasy,

    Sympathy, Insight:

    life’s fateful cast:

    before endarkening

    graying blue skys

    greening red nights.

    Don’t care now if

    you’ve an ill-fitting

    wrinkled tan jacket–

    less suspect tattoos.

    You gave life a nod

    let it snake by pissing.

    Boston hero, plum lad.

    Red sky at night,

    Sailors’ delight. JFK:

    remember his light.


    © EDWARD MYCUE 22 November 2008

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