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Toys

Your toys, my child, hold them dear, your toys smaller even than you. And at night, when the fire drifts off to sleep, — wrap them up in the stars from atop a tree. Let the golden pony graze the

After the Paris Bombings

I lent my Daily Missal, which had been published before they dropped the Latin, to Robin. Though she had been raised a Catholic in an Irish-Italian suburb of Boston in the sixties, had even been a “choir boy” until she

Two Poems

Love Talk What the boy heard his older sister say— Perfect, Fallen, Falling again— drew him to the blizzard snow. It was purely physical. He had his first red snow shovel. It was a tool. It needed use. He wasn’t

A SHOUT FROM THE DARK

After Jim Moore If like a Buddhist I accepted the world as it was given, without judgement, does it mean I would remain unmoved by any atrocities, any tragedies? Karma gives birth to snakes, swine, songbirds. Step out of one

“Weather Report”

These white stripes of day achieve more than we could possibly hope for, with curtains –thin movements– shielding the curious birds. Pure pleasure is illuminated by each sequence of bright and shadow on the wall. Think of this– Light stands

Why I Hate Nudist Camps

Wayne had already flung off his t-shirt, pulled off his black Khakis to set up our tent—I can work faster if I’m naked—a new weed in the wet and wild. Faster, maybe, but not better: he slammed things together, tangled ropes.

Willing

Hidden from all mothers’ eyes by blinded windows glowing, I chase two neighbor sisters up slides and platforms, my boy heart surely rising as we round a silver maple, past the open gate, the scooter I’d cast off—my sister’s purple

Block Party

Start Me Up! was what started it--Monica Litzkus from up the street got tight that afternoon so she put on Tattoo You cranked to the Max & anybody coming over to complain got handed a beer & invited to dance

Talisman

Quetzal: you write the word on a sheet of paper then erase it; each word, a talisman, leaves a track: a magpie struts across a portal and vanishes from sight; when you bite into sea urchin, ocean currents burst in

Two Poems

ONLY BEES BUZZ IN THE MEADOW                         —for Harryette Mullen   Speech a tremble, “Why not stop?” “Why not tremble?” Blessings from the other birds. Bread again. “What is as sweet?” Every grain of word is wheat. “Why not stop?”

Two Poems

Music Class Kids learned to play recorder in fourth grade, but I arrived late that year, and Mr. Bradley, fatigued and harried, taught me to fake it: how to inflate my cheeks and make fingers navigate in the Baroque way

Just So You Know

I figured it out after you ate the palm sized sugary plump plums, after you left the twelve line letter on the granite kitchen counter, unsigned, that did not explain why you ate the plums but not the leftovers I

Two Poems

Tattoos (for E)   They come with stories. Like the woman whose thorny twist around her shin did not bear roses, but eyes. Her children’s eyes, lashed almonds of colour, peeping from the leaves.   My tattoo for you would

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Hank Lazer (Professor Emeritus and Associate Provost Emeritus) has published twenty-three books of poetry, including Poems Hidden in Plain View (2016, in English and in French), Brush Mind: At Hand (GreencupBooks, 2016), N24 (Little Red Leaves / Textile Series, 2014),

SHALL BEAR UPON HIS SHOULDER I…

—Eze. 12:12   Reaching from history, that alpenglow, towards the dead whose clothes I wear tracked from room to room, the prodigy house we’ve built from the ambient low-fi hum—You pass your tongue through it. But what are you, the