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Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:02

December 2018 Poems

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1.

The African elephants have floppy

Ears while Asian elephants have tiny

Ears but both the African and Asian

Elephants can detect the lumbering

 

Presence of far away elephants by

“Listening” to the plodding of thudding

Elephant feet emanating in the

Waves from every elephant foot that stomps

 

On the earth — but the elephant doesn’t

Hear elephants thumping with its ears but

It measures the distance of its plopping

Cousins through the bottom of its feet as

 

It stands in place tickled by vibrations

Stimulating its marvelous flatness.

 

The wrinkles around

an elephant’s eyes suggest

wisdom but with its

wrapping and grasping trunk it

behaves mischievously.

 

2.

I was watching a video on my

Phone of a juvenile elephant in

A creek with muddy and slippery banks —

The youngster wanted out and came to a

 

Spot not so high and sloping — and thrusting

Upwards and flopping sideways onto the

Bank the elephant reached a tipping point

Several times but just couldn’t get over —

 

Looking like a chubby kid struggling

Up the wall on an obstacle course and

Failing — in befuddlement and distress

The adolescent wavered in the creek

 

Until an adult ambling over

And stepping into the creek helped him out.

 

The elephant

used his massive

head to push

from behind and

they escaped.

 

3.

It’s perplexing that in the transition

Into winter there is a blooming of

Vibrancy when the white and grey of a

Cloud rapidly blowing in the blue of

 

The sky makes a stunning contrast — when just

Moments ago the finest flakes of snow

Were descending — and I question why when

The leaves of each tree are revealing the

 

Brightest yellows oranges and reds they

Are capable of that the spirit in

Me responds with joyful celebration

As if today were a festival of

 

Natural beauty — while my bare hands are

Chilled to the bone by a persisting wind.

 

It happens that the

severity of winter

is proceeded by

a reverberation of

exuberant piquancy.

 

 4.

The river keeps flowing in the winter

Under five feet of ice on the surface

And water is moving consistently

And doesn’t dawdle and doesn’t hurry

 

And snow falling in the hollows and on

The limestone bluffs of the river valley

And on the streets and the homes of the town

Of Stillwater is snow for a season

 

But eventually the snow becomes

The river and then the river becomes

The ocean and then the ocean becomes

The clouds collecting and dispersing in

 

The sky until eventually the

Water drops and touches the earth again.

 

As I am drinking

water I am absorbing

the clouds the rain the

snow and the ice the river

and even every ocean.

 

5.

What is the red of the cardinal for?

What purpose does the scarlet serve beyond

The attraction of its mate? Does it live

Only for itself and its progeny?

 

Because I remember from my childhood

Taking such joy from the sight of the bird

As if its brilliant color transformed the

Drab gray skies the bare branches and the snow

 

On the ground into an enchanted land —

I would as well ask what is the winter

Solstice for that marks the passing of the

Longest nights and the turning to brighter

 

Days even though there are many dark days

Ahead when only the cardinal shines.

 

Childhood joy

and wonderment

from the sight of a

cardinal in winter is

unexplainable.

 

6.

Words of remembrance on the passing of

A friend are surprising gifts that we give

Each other and I knew Herbert as a

Writer in New York City and could not

 

Have known a lot about him and the list

Of his accomplishments was welcome but

It took a day for a story to emerge

From the bulk of information and to

 

Resonate that Herbert was scoring at

A pace surpassing the high school and league

Record when the basketball coach removed

Him and Herbert was outraged for many

 

Years until he absorbed the lesson of

Humility the coach had given him.

 

I learned

accomplishment

was founded upon

humility.

Read 679 times Last modified on Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:11
Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

www.stcroixreview.com
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