Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Word from the Corner - Summer in a Small Town - Tony Hoagland

Poetry outdoors this week! This Tuesday, we're going to be at the Stevens Estate at Osgood Hill in North Andover. The theme for this month's open mic is "Summer Stories". You can go a lot of different directions with this one. Bring one of your own or one by a favorite author. We are meeting on the lawn by the big tent at 6PM, we start at 6:30PM. Park in the lot behind the estate.

Here is a summer poem by Tony Hoagland, who passed away last year. He was a great observer, with a wry sense of humor. His poems are worth checking out.

Enjoy summer.


from "Summer in a Small Town"

This is the kind of town where the rush hour traffic halts
to let three wild turkeys cross the road,
and when the high school music teacher retires
after thirty years

the movie marquee says, “Thanks Mr. Biddleman!”
and the whole town comes to hear
the tuba solos of old students.

Summer, when the living is easy
and we store up pleasure in our bodies
like fat, like Eskimos,
for the coming season of privation.

All August the Ferris wheel will turn
in the little amusement park,
and screaming teenage girls will jump into the river
with their clothes on,
right next to the No Swimming sign.

Trying to cool the heat inside the small towns
of their bodies,
for which they have no words;
obedient to the voice inside which tells them,
“Now. Steal Pleasure.”

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Word from the Corner - 2 poems - The Path Disappears, Tell Why

The Word from the Corner

Mysterious, curious, glorious, or furious - Sometimes I know where my poems come from. Sometimes I don't. Here are two short poems that are in the second category. Two from the twilight zone. For you to consider on this mysterious summer day, a summer day like any other...
PS Don't forget, we are outdoors at Stevens Estate next Tuesday for this month's open mic! Tuesday 7/23, 6PM. See Events on FB group North Andover Poets Corner.

The path disappears
I am suddenly in fear
I am in fear
I stand here revealed
The way to safety has turned narrow
I cannot pass or fly like the sparrow
There is no path forward
The one road goes onward
Through the valley of steel knives
Cold in the hand, they greet me
The other road rises high above the valley floor
It meets a bridge high above the valley floor
Where is the path?


Tell Why
But I write it because it’s beautiful
But I write it because it hurts
But I write it because it hurts less when I do
But I write it because it’s the only way out
But I write it because it’s the only way in
But I write it because it’s the only way to know what I know
But I write it because
It’s beautiful