Word Poetry

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Sample Poems by Richard Hague


Toward Fall

Each year, more butterflies:
fritillaries, their wings flecks,
spangled silvers over rust:
hairstreaks of a blue clay gray;
great swallowtails,
tigers, spicebushes, blacks.
Out of air they coalesce to taste
primrose, amaranthus, daisy,
even the azure nightshade
bloom. They are splinters,
bows, scraps, turning in the sunlight
to debris alive.
All of us
are slivers, shards, pieces
of Creation, all connected
to the ceaseless fractioning
of the One, all from the same
place, all bound similarly
to death, that destination of
dampness and deep shadow
under the fruiting quince.

My son runs by it
wrapped in the red cloud
of his laughter,
but there the beetle roams
like God the sorrowful stations
of the garden even now.


First Born

Winter silence over,
I lay half awake one morning,
names still perched
in the throat of my sleep:
Annie, Brendan, Patrick.
Soon they lined the foot of the bed
like grackles clacking spring.

Sometimes the world
condenses, ripens in a moment
to seed more plentiful than thistleÍs,
and feeds our every hour:

That afternoon,
I watched a crow
walk the median of the interstate,
not a feather ruffled,
its black calm eyes
steady as plumb-bobs
in its construction
of a moment.

Later, home from work,
I watched song sparrows in the garden,
heard wind hum long
the whole note
in the measure of their breasts.

From the top step of the porch,
I heard a mockingbird
convene its voices
in the budding maple,
a choir of lusty gab and clatter,
welcome home.

Inside, I held my wife
who had, the night before,
good sleep.
She looked rested, younger.
In her womb,
the baby spread his arms like wings
then gradually refolded them.

I know he pursed his perfect moist lips
in a bird call,
still too small and fine to hear.