Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MARGE PIERCY



Attention please


In the parking lot below my hotel

a ludicrously purple sedan displays

itself loud as if it strobed. I imagine

a guy in a roaring plaid jacket special

ordering that plastic-looking shout.


Attention: eyes confirm that we exist

as if we woke each dawn doubting it.

We feel ourselves melting into fog:

we feel ourselves stared straight through

like a glass table with someone playing


footsies underneath. We do not live

to serve but be observed. Our single

voice is lost like one lone treefrog

in the spring chorus of mating peepers

unless someone answers our cries.



Copyright 2010 Marge Piercy



Words hard as stones


All the words I never spoke in time

in the flashing moments when they

could have, might have but didn’t –

they follow me like vultures circling


so that I know something rotten

lies in the field. The apologies

never delivered age in the dead

letter office of the brain, yellowing.


But the promises’ broken shards

have worked their way into

the mattress and poke my sleep,

words I should never have said.


Gossip, curses, whispers behind

closed doors, in bed; words

hurled in argument, justification,

the stinging gnats of lies:


sticky words, overpoweringly

fragrant like lilies in a closed room,

rancid, spiky. Such are words made

flesh, made bread, made dagger.



Copyright 2010 Marge Piercy



Well met by evening


He went down to the ocean at Newcomb Beach

in the cool of twilight, the waves just ruffling

their edges. Two fires below the parking lot.

He walked north. A couple under a moving

blanket. Then no one. The empty beach

marked with those antic sculptures

of jetsam people pile up here.


As he walked on, he felt eyes on him.

Looked up at the dunes. Looked behind.

Then he glanced at the sea and a grey

seal was watching him. As he strode

north, his seal swam beside him.

Ducked under. Its sleek head rose

every twenty feet and it looked again.


Companions, they walked and swam on

side by side in two mediums

as the twilight thickened like pudding

and a tanker cruised the horizon.

When he turned to walk back,

the seal surfaced once more, stared

then turned and swam out to sea.


A bit bereft but mostly blessed

it was his turn to watch it travel.

How seldom do creatures of earth

and water meet peacefully without

damage to either, accept each other’s

company, then go their separate

secret ways each a little richer.



Copyright 2010 Marge Piercy


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