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Jim Schley

10-19-09

The Last Summer
 
Sunrise erupted on a cloud-ridged horizon.
Land so level, sloping just inches from the lake.
Hear the squeak of oars, the slap and swivel
half in darkness, edging shoals as the boat
came clear to open water.  I would hold
a tin of worms in warm dirt.  My granddad,
sturdy and terse, would ferret them out
with a pocket knife, then quarter an apple
to stall our hunger.  Hours until breakfast,
the boat wandered in faint waves, un-anchored.
The man would smoke, or with several strokes
nudge us in among reeds to a sinkhole.
In one of his moods, with little to say
 
as bobbers ticked on the wavering glare.
 
Land Alone
 
Some cartographer's error
and we squandered days,
a river on the map now swamp;
glacial fissures drained to marsh,
so a channel angled south goes east then north,
to halt canoes at a beavers' dam, trunks big as log cabins.
Millions of droplets per cubic inch, and brief efflorescence
in stalks, leaves and lacy ferns already by August
curling for an onslaught of snow.  Head-high grass
spread by prows keeps no trail of keel, paddle blade, or feet
as flies toil and bite, as boots spew rot from muddy sockets.
Redwings creak on cattails like farcical guides.
Bullfrogs thrum directions only a blackbird could decipher.
Who are you to the herons, to the beavers felling trees?
Who cares for you? say the barred owls,
as soft to disappear as puffs of mist.
How far to your vanishing point?
 
Our lives became things,
callused joints and scarlet knees,
with hair tied back to tumble behind.  Six of us,
strangers since, a rank and cantankerous crew.
On day three we crossed a flowage in porridge-thick fog,
tracking island to island by compass
with twelve-foot visibility encircling each boat.
Near noon a bush plane, the growling saws.
The village on Red Lake.  But remember
 
how the land made its own way, with no one there.
k
k
                    -from As When, In Season



 

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Brian Brodeur 03-29-09

 

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Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08

 

Steve Davenport 03-29-2010

 

Cortney Davis 05-03-09

 

Todd Davis 11-01-2010

 

James Dickey 03-12-2012

 

Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012

 

Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08

 

Karen Donovan 04-15-07

 

Mark Doty 04-11-08

 

Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010

 

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B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09

 

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Nick Flynn 01-28-2012

 

Nick Flynn 10-04-2010

 

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Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011

 

James Galvin 02-23-07

 

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Dana Gioia 08-23-2010

 

Eugene Gloria 09-20-08

 

Louise Gluck 03-17-2010

 

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Robert Grunst 11-16-07

 

Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011

 

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Donald Hall 02-10-07

 

Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011

  

C. G. Hanzlicek 04-23-2012

 

Jeff Hardin 08-10-07

 

Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011

 

Brooks Haxton 03-08-10

 

Seamus Heaney 09-11-09

 

Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010

 

Bob Hicok 10-25-2011

 

 

Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09

 

Lynda Hull 05-20-07

 

Henry Israeli 01-23-2011

 

Major Jackson 05-02-2010

 

Mark Jarman 10-19-08

 

Rodney Jones 10-26-09

 

Barbara Jordan 02-02-09

 

Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011

 

Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011

 

Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08

 

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Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08

 

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Lisa Lewis 02-11-2012

 

Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08

 

Corey Marks 10-03-07

 

Adrian Matejka 04-18-08

 

Davis McCombs 01-18-08

 

Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011

 

Michael McGriff 02-22-09

 

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Nils Michals 02-29-08

 

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Malena Morling 05-12-08

 

Simone Muench 02-08-08

 

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Sharon Olds 10-19-07

 

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Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07

 

Ed Pavlic 09-28-07

 

Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010

 

Lucia Perillo 12-04-09

 

Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011

 

Jon Pineda 04-09-2012

 

Donald Platt 02-15-08

 

Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011

 

Joshua Poteat 11-3-09

 

Wyatt Prunty 02-20-2011

 

Dean Rader 03-07-2011

 

Amy Randolph 03-01-09

 

Robert Randolph 12-12-09

 

Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010

 

Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010

 

David Roderick 12-07-07

 

Bobby C. Rogers 02-04-2012

 

Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08


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Jim Schley 10-19-09

 

Tim Seibles 10-08-07

 

David Shumate 10-26-08

 

Dave Smith 04-10-09 

 

Katherine Soniat 01-21-2012

 

Katherine Soniat 11-30-07

 

Gary Soto 03-23-07

 

Mark Sullivan 08-28-09

 

Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

Mark Strand 02-22-2010

 

Mark Svenvold 03-23-09

 

Robert Thomas 05-03-2011

 

Brian Turner 05-13-07

 

Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011

 

Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07

 

Connie Voisine 10-1-2011

 

Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07

 

David Wevill 03-27-2011

 

C.K. Williams 05-25-07

 

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07

 

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