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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

The Decision

So it has been a little while now since I opened a PO box in New Mexico and had the pleasant experience of finding a couple of issues of Whitefish Review in there. Inside those tender pages rests a title, my name, and my words. A poem. And inside the front cover there is a small section that reads “The Decision” copyright 2010 by Daniel Harrington. A small literary magazine, but a great one, and the first poem I’ve ever had truly published, so it is a special moment.

It also means that there are fewer reasons to hold the poem to my chest… it has been published once already, so there isn’t a reason anymore for me to keep it from the blog. I hope you like it.

So, here it is, as published in Whitefish Review, volume 4, issue1 (Summer 2010)

The Decision

She thrashed and kicked in the other lane.
Dark, just out of town,
I felt bound, compelled to stop.

A Buck knife beneath the seat
deadly sharp, but personal.
I dreaded to bring it.

A yearling doe, just hit,
flailing and failing to find purchase,
to stand though dazed.

Somewhere out there, headlights coming.
I grasped four ankles and dragged
her to the shoulder.

Blood in her ear. Eyes dazed.
I knew.

I pictured pulling the chin back,
puling steel across that lovely neck.
That final breath.

In the space of my hesitation
she tried, wobbling, to stand,
and nearly fought to a knee.

Was she weak to have been hit?
Or strong to still be alive?
I couldn’t decide.

And what did I know about life?
The knife, or the slimmest of
chances to stand?

She staggered again, and I willed her up.
But she could not.
And I could not.

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A few weeks ago I received notice that a poem of my crafting had found its way into the inked pages of a literary magazine called the Whitefish Review. To my pleasant surprise, I also discovered that some fine authors, including Rick Bass and Doug Peacock, are in the same issue. I guess sometimes the wind does blow at your back.

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Some very dull Forest Service training recently afforded me the opportunity to compose a few more poems using random words… Take a word, see how many other words you can create using only the letters from that word, and then create a poem using only those words…

Funeral
near an urn learn
an earl ulna
a fen

Reasonable
as banal as a bare seal
a real arson bore bears
no basal seer
sear a sole son,
bale bane bones.

Partisan
part rain part rant
sip tan saran sap
tin saint rapist rips
past arts rapt rat

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you are a thorn
a masochism of a hobby
better left to addicts

go away and leave me be

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Do winter trees sigh
when the snow loosens
and cascades down?

Blink and shudder,
their slumber disturbed
for just a moment?

Weight lifted from limbs
Fine snow sparklling
I sigh.

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Transit

Transit

Life is out there, somewhere beyond the rain
In upturned faces, damp and joyous dogs.
I press my forehead against the glass
My breath a fleeting but persistent ghost.

A world slips by, scene after scene with tenuous links
Cars emerge and fade, blinking; faces are glimpsed and gone.
Here I remain untouched, nothing is expected of me
I am cradled in electric glow and faint vibration.

But now a slow and stop with squeak and sigh
The door is open, waiting.

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Figured I’d share this one… it was a winner in Juneau’s Poetry Omnibus competition (2005 I think) — local poets’ works were judged and several winners were displayed on the public transit buses in Juneau for a year. I think it’s a great idea and all transit buses should have a touch of poetry!

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Word exercises

I’ve been purging belongings lately, and have necessarily gone through old notebooks and files. Sometimes I find interesting tidbits and memories. In the margins of my notebook for a class on Shakespeare:

Mortimer
I trim merit to mime ire
remit memoir to rot
tremor to roe mire
or miror rime to time

Shakespeare
as rash rakes seek keepsakes
a spear sees a sheep share respekt
respeak a rash pear’s rape
hasp a sap, keep shares as sharks

Interesting, eh? None of the words in the poem uses any different letters, or more letters, than are in the name of the person that titles the poem… kind of a fun exercise.

The class was a little tedious, and these helped to pass the time and entertain me and my friend Shantra. Mostly amusing, yet there is something compelling about the unity of sound in these…

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