Saturday, January 14, 2012
Poems for Post-Tweflth Night
Trouble Coming, by Charles Simic
One saw signs of it in certain families.
The future was like an unfriendly waiter
Standing ready to take their dinner order
From a menu they could not read.
To look without understanding was their lot
While a salesman in the TV store
Kept changing channels too quickly
For them to retain a single image.
The little flags freshly posted in a cemetery
Said nothing as they hung listlessly
In the early summer breeze,
Not that anybody particularly noticed.
The sunset over the approaching city
Was like a banquet in a madhouse
The inmates were happily setting on fire
Just as our train ducked into a tunnel.
My father sent me a whole passel of The New York Review of Books, and the above poem was published there. The next poem is a haiku written by one of my students last semester and I thought a fitting counterpart to Simic's.
Zipline, by Suzanne Shields
Zipping through the trees
Altitude is everything
Life is delicate.