Saturday 5 May 2018

4 Poems by Charles Entrekin


Appearing in the sky, a great
gray-blue heron, size of a small child,
drops down out of the wild, lowering
feet, knobby knees, and he swings
in a backwash of wings to a stop
on my rooftop.
Next to the chimney, on stilts,
he flaps once, then smooths
his near-black feathers
into a tight-fitting coat.
                I sit and stare.  I am not alone.
The oncologist has phoned.
My scans are clean.


Returning home long after midnight,
feeling caught up in the chaos
of the human world, disarmed,
sneaking through the side gate like a thief,
past the sleeping morning glories,
now exposed by the moonlight
following me into my backyard.
The ignored, hundred-year-old plum tree
stands aglow in white blossoms.
A light rain and mist
sifts through the night air,
lifting the branches. And
the petals begin to shudder and fall.
As if the tree were waiting for me
to begin such extravagance, white
blankets the wet black ground
in showers of flowers drifting down
in my hair, brushing my shoulder,
all around me and suddenly
everything inside me
is at peace.


A solitary easel,
a brush stroke stopped
in the middle of a painting
because the artist has left the room
the door opened to the night.

I think perhaps
it’s like when you’re dying
and you get to come back,
as if the self waits like a gate
instead of a construct.

I see myself opening, time
moving down and slowing,
an entropic syrup
surrounding the here and now,
spreading out
like black ink in water,
a feeling of returning,
a flood subsiding and suddenly
someone waiting,
who has always been waiting,
moving out from my shadows,
into the room,
a doppelgänger.

Open the gate, step out.
Hello, he says,
the one I recognize now
who has always known me,
who waits through my absences,
welcoming me home.

One Evening in Berkeley

There was an early feel of winter that evening.
The fog and cold made August uncomfortable
and unsettling.
The sea seemed almost audible
in the glimmer of streetlights
on Shattuck Avenue.
We stopped and entered a small café,
and there was a fire
and warm people.
We ordered coffee and cream
and I thought of another time
not so nice as this
and suddenly
I felt our present,
yours and mine, my love,
I knew us and our moments
and saw us from out of time
like a ship standing solid in the light
of a great lighthouse,
piercing through the fog in its great swinging arc.


Charles' most recent works include The Art of Healing, a transformative poetic journey (Poetic Matrix Press, 2016); Portrait of a Romance, a love story in verse (Hip Pocket Press, 2014). Charles was a founder and managing editor of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative and The Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press, and was a co-founder/advisory board member of Literature Alive!, a non-profit organization in Nevada County, California. He is co-editor of the e-zine Sisyphus, a magazine of literature, philosophy, and culture; and managing editor of Hip Pocket Press. Charles is the father of five children and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, poet Gail Rudd Entrekin.

No comments:

Post a Comment