Philosophical about my dream; the pond swarming with ducks,
overreaching the banks, packed in wing to wing. I know better, of course, but there is a
neighborly pair here, wary, who swim around a moment considering my presence, and then
draw their wings in, then out, take to the sky, and disturb the pond’s stillness for one lovely moment.
Paradox this breeze, cool, yet mixed with the sun there’s a warmth,
overdubbed with the whoosh through the leaves that are left. And this morning small
knurls of frogs peep and at my approach, having made their way a good
distance from the pond, leap now into the stream, and vanish under the mud.
Peau-de-soie of the pond’s surface caught between sunlight and
overextended cloud cover, two places at once; the pond glistens and is absolutely still.
Neurasthenic little breeze courses across the pond at its best, and
doorsills of simple waves lead us to what is right in the breeze, perfect in the stasis.
Protégé of the sheerest, most delicate lace, this air is mist,
oracular, hardly there at all, and these past few days a
noblesse of battered and leftover leaves and twigs has left the landscape
divided, caught between the bite of winter and the grace autumn falling away.
Proceeds from last night’s storm still jewel the early afternoon grass.
Observable wetness on the spare leaves, trees, the road; today, the harbinger of tomorrow’s storm.
Noontide and the stream is active; a male cardinal drinks, a sparrow swoops and observes,
doves, wings squeaking, fly into the brown grass that was green, to what was here but is now gone.
Note: They are from a one-year-long project called POND -- The poems are acrostics.
John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits, and Chants. His newest collection, Sundowning, will be out this year with Main Street Rag. John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Rust & Moth, Connecticut River Review, Hawk & Handsaw, and many others. His work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy. His translator is Angela D’Ambra. John has read and venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage, and many others. For many years, John coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT. He is also a teaching artist for the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud. A former New England Poet of the Year, John teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.