This Week in Poetry

This week two poems about death (its coming, our going) caught my eye. I love the way Nina Lindsay's poem, In The End, shows us much about what it is to be human and to be alive. I also love Alan Fox's Ashes to ... for the way he plays with language and gives me shivers with just a few brief lines. Please check these out, and Happy Thanksgiving!


These are my last wishes:
to lie beneath the rosemary,
the scrubby kind, used for hedging
municipal buildings, shelter

to rats and trash.
It smells good,
it’s cheap, it blooms,
you hack it back
when it gets too big.
For some reason
they never remove it, when it’s obvious
they should, and replant.
Lying there, who would notice
me listening:

the boys scheming
to hop the fence but not doing it;
the couple not quite yet a couple, at least
they don’t think so.
They talk about their week.
Who else would care, with such
obvious delight
about such crap? They are in love.
So is the dog
with the girl, who calls him
and he comes. And she throws it

and he goes.
The girl, last week, stole
a stuffed animal from the library.
She doesn’t know it was stealing.
It stays with her in sleep and smells,
now, like her most intimate self.
It is comfort and conscience, her heart
displayed so brazenly,
no one would dare think of it.
In twenty years, its memory
will roll up in her gut
like a stone long formed—
and this is how she will learn
to forgive herself,
and to treasure human error.
Now her sneakers shush
across the concrete, warm
August air laps against her ankles.
The dog is still going at it,
his ears flop
in rhythm with her breath.
My last wish

is to be that.

Nina Lindsay

from Rattle #49, Fall 2015

Posted on Today in Rattle: 23 Nov 2015 12:00 AM PST



Now into limbo depth of time
Is fled that soul which had a man
And silent, empty, earth pressed bone
Remains, to learn decay alone.

Where to, where from, where hence, where gone
None other knows, or cares, or can,
A grab bag chance, a sack of skin,
To mask our come, and going in.

 Alan Fox

from Rattle #49, Fall 2015

Posted on Today on Rattle, 11-17-2015