June 1, 2014

Two Poems by Joan Colby



As if the moon lay halved
In hemispheres at the edge
Of our woodlot. Nestled beneath
A twisted oak, its mossy side
A Polaris of the forest.

It’s afternoon and the grass is still
Rinsed with dew, wild strawberries poking
Red bonnets once again, though it’s October.
Though the fallen cherry leaves are dry and
Bundled as papooses.

This is the route the dog and I take
Daily. The three redtails who abide
In the back pasture don’t like intrusions.
Soaring and dipping like frowning icons.

How we imagine ownership: as if looking
Confers authority. As if digging
Postholes and stringing webs
Of wire could keep out anything
Determined to arrive.

Concepts of what is whose go winging.
The puffballs glimmer in the failing light
Like moons fallen
Into a meadow of red stars.

Puffballs II 

You’d think the frost would silver them
As it does the timothy. Instead, they’ve browned
Like muffins. Leathery
As old Frye boots. Such forlorn moons
Undazzled by a star’s reflection.
You’d never see them now, huddled
In grizzled underbrush unless you knew
Where to look. O, they were lovely
And haunting just days ago
Before the cold hands of the winds
Caressed them into a sober destiny.
The varnish of tawny fate renders them
Inedible as pigskin. Too late to harvest
And fry in butter. Moons whose shine
Is lost. The color of warm beer.
We stumble up the incline
To the final barrier of box elders
Waving riddled arms on the eve
Of all hallows.

Seven books published including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 980 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest--Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.

1 comment:

  1. As always, Joan, a feast. Thanks so much.

    Con affecto,