Log Cabin Chronicles

Nothing to Report

JOEL SPECTOR

A small lake.
Some trees,
ornamental,
inhabit the shore.
The sky, convex,
looks off,
impatient with the bed
unmade every morning at eight.
Something inside is out,
like a plate overturned,
or the ceiling of a public bath.

If the eyes and ears would adjust...
awaken finally to the ritual scene;
to the sudden barking
that keeps distances at bay,
approaching footsteps,
a stillness,
the half of things
abandoned
at the latch of a gate,
as it falls discreetly
into its appointed place.

Having slept past the time
of any useful life,
poplars bend
in the stillness,
courtesans
in a scene exquisitely made
for broad gestures
or sudden flight.
All molders,
untouched
by the least breath or hand,
and reason, exhausted,
wills all in perpetuity;
a postcard
left blank for twenty years
still has nothing to say,
though the life that would be lived
is not so hard to find,
given its true native.

The poet Joel Spector recently returned from Wales to Iowa City, Iowa.

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Copyright © 1998 Joel Specter