Short Poems

— Al Nightingale

My neighbor buzzard, he found in the basement
Some little mice, and brought them in a hat.
They, drawing the first breath, were hardly sensible
That they might incur punishment for that.

Their burial was later realized,
And spoiled the country garden’s pretty image.
My feeling was just pitying, not squeamish:
For they were this way punished for blind eyes.

For sight we pay full price, and not on sale,
We go to the rack and venture hazards.
My blind suspicions I may crush myself,
But I’ll survive and even thwart all buzzards.

* * *
My neighbor thrust his scissors under ribs.
And I apologize for this brute script,
But early in the morning I was doomed
To dress the corpse and to observe the wound.

Thus, as a curve, your life will lead somewhere
And probably help someone not to die:
I didn’t hurt its wings, picked up with care
And happily released a dragonfly…

*  *  *
I am in this September’s heart
And at the edge of aging grounds…
O, do thou deign
To be in charge of the eternity, the truth,
And still the love: your own.
Like in that river, running headlong,
The loam is on the right
And on the left, it’s clots of mist…
Look at the light:
Learn from the pine trees
Hypnosis of the spiders,
For we can’t twice
Attempt to measure lives
With compasses
Of our thirst and lust!

One thought on “Short Poems

  1. You have such a unique (and often startling) way of looking at the world and life, Al! At the monthly readings, you have an energetic and emotional way of reading; I am often moved by the musicality of your renditions but unable to comprehend the words. It helps to read your lines on the page…

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