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Part 1 Contributors

 

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch


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Click to enlarge picture Bruce Willard
Bruce Willard
Californian Poets Part 1: Three Poems
by
Bruce Willard


 

 



FLIGHT SONG

After the business of dying was done.
After the last document was signed.

After the music of friends was risen
from church to a topless October sky

and decomposition
left just the colors of fall to burn

like small flags in the trees,
I learned to love what is incomplete:

the wood thrush working
on her song of flight tonight,

the moon chasing the sun
around the circle of sky.

Work indistinguishable from joy.
Water in a fountain cycling

as it seeks a way of being heard.
Because grace is nothing

when silence calls its name.



COMING AND GOING

My grandfather was an engineer.
Collected tolls on bridges
at the Jersey shore.
A quarter for each crossing
Longport to Seaview
Ocean City to Strathmere.
My Scottish grandfather
who cussed all
‘good-for-nuthin’ immigrants
and edged both sides
of his two-step lawn
with a long-handled roller-blade
where grass shouldered concrete.
Who kept the fence along the alley
painted and clear of poison.
My grandfather, who collected coins
each day and sat on the screen porch
summer evenings
with a can of Iron City
and a tin of Rold Gold
in the quiet company
of an immigrant wife
counting the days
as the world passed through.



UNHINGED

At a gate in Salt Lake City airport,
I watched a hardware salesman,

his bag like a pilot’s case, the kind with maps
of every airport he’d ever passed through.

His hands were full of receipts and papers,
between his legs a cup of coffee, no top.

How he strained
to still his knees,

keep the shaky liquid balanced
each time the connected seats were rocked.

His look of resignation when goodness
overflowed to his trousers,

darkening his crotch.
The sound he made

like a hinge on a door
that could not be closed.