Thursday, September 29, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Beach Road Fox"

This short lyric is a mix of memory and imagination. It is also an homage to Robert Frost, whose work I've been reading closely. Thought it out for two weeks, wrote it in two hours. Hope you enjoy.

Beach Road Fox
An ocean fog brings foxes out by day,
And, driving home, I scare one on its way
To meet a rabbit for an early meal,
A splotch of rust the light’s too dim to name
True red, its tail a curl of orange peel
Or the guttering appendage of a flame.
For spotting one, it’s not as if I owe
More than a look, but nearer now I slow
The car to watch it disappear among
Beach rose bushes there along the road
(A fox’s only debt is to its young)
In loping imitation of a toad.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Thursday, July 21, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Eating the Sky"

Eating the Sky

This sky I cannot taste
But how I might—
If I had a mouth
To swallow
And South—
Partake of

This sky I can’t ingest
But if I grew
I might just try
One wedge
Of cloud
And half
A moon
For breakfast—

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

You can hear me read the poem aloud by clicking here.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Advice from the Field"

Advice from the Field

In building a house
Of modest estate,
Abode for the mousy,
Not for the great,

Be prim as a mouse is
Selecting her lot;
No good to build houses
In a trouble spot.

Mice find it best
To make like a mole:
If short a nest,
Inhabit a hole.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

You can hear me read the poem aloud by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Trespasser at Qwik-Mart"

I don't think I'd want a bear's life, but I do empathize with them. We'll be seeing more and more large predators in places we don't expect, and I hope that doesn't result in their numbers dwindling to a time when we never see them at all.

Trespasser at Qwik-Mart

Black bear climbed the fence behind the store
And lumbered toward the garbage bin.
Mother of two,
She’d had to let her hunger win
Against the cautious hollow at her core.

Night clerk, out for a smoke, had tossed a box
Of sausage pizza—a tiny sliver,
But it would do
Till morning when they reached the river,
So she tried to thunder softly as a fox.

Tranq dart struck her cleanly in the leg.
It took three more to bring her down.
The shooter knew
Bleak need had led her close to town,
For a black bear out of luck can hardly beg.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

You can hear me read the poem aloud by clicking here.

Friday, June 17, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Close Combat"

After reading that the fisher, a kind of weasel, is one of the porcupine's few predators, I wrote about human beings and survival of the fiercest:

Close Combat

Even at peace
We flex our wills,
Fisher circling
Certain what kills,
Marten and prey,
Is striking a place
(Belly or face)
Bare of quills:
Whetting our skills.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

Image Credit: Painting by Consie Powell from Kays and Wilson's Mammals of North America, © Princeton University Press (2002)

You can hear me read the poem aloud by clicking this link.

This week's POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner.

Friday, May 27, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: "Mosquito Season"

Ah, lively, deadly life! With Zika and other viruses on the rise, I've heard many variations on "The only good mosquito is a dead mosquito." As frightening as the health threats are, the closer I look, the more I find to admire about these graceful, resilient creatures.  

Mother Culex quinquefasciatus (southern house mosquito) with her egg raft
Mosquito Season

Mother fends off  
Net and swatter,
Hovers over
Standing water

Where she works
Her subtle craft,
Conjures up a

Made of eggs,
Laid with care
In the hollow
Of a chair

Puddled by a
Passing storm—
Perfect place to
Raise a swarm.

© 2016 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

You can hear me read the poem aloud on SoundCloud by clicking here.

Aedes mosquito larva

This week's POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Julie Larios at The Drift Record.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Barding Around Massachusetts for National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month has brought me and my "Syllable Sounds: The Poetic Power of Vowels and Consonants" presentation to schools and libraries across my home state of Massachusetts. The month culminated in my being guest poet at the Quills & Quotes Poetry Awards for the Falmouth Public Schools (grades 1-12). Here are a few pictures!

Photo: Andrea Carter/Falmouth Enterprise