The 2River View 22.2 (Winter 2018)

Daniel Bourne

Garden Psalm

O those songs I only try to remember
When I have drunk too much
O those songs

That only manage
To rise up through my throat
Translucent species

Like a hummingbird’s bib
Buzz song
That gets you in the flower

A Warm Spell in Winter

The last semester before my favorite classroom is demolished
in the renovation of Kauke Hall, The College of Wooster, January 2005

Here, by the window, open in January,
I look at the scarred arms of the oak trees.  We would
all like to lie down and die on a day like this,
the sky so blue we have to look away, the calm
scratches of students hoping to dig up their lost
cities of words, the layers of clay and childhood,
a civilization that ended so quickly
there was no time to look back, no language created
for the last words that will always need to be said
afterwards; while I,  a sheepish undertaker,
hoarse and subdued, point out the saddest trees are those
with leaves still hanging.  Like dead men still not buried.

Daniel Bourne teaches in English and Environmental Studies at The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he edits Artful Dodge. His books of poetry include The Household Gods; Where No One Spoke the Language; and On the Crossroads of Asia and Europe, translations of Polish political poet Tomasz Jastrun.

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