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The Poems of Lewis Turco

ae_TurcoEditor’s notes:  In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Lewis Turco, author of “The Book of Forms.” He has two books coming out this year:  the fourth edition of “The Book of Forms,” and a book of criticism, “The Dialects of the Tribe: Post-Modern American Poets and Poetry.”

SEASONAL
Autumn swells the cribs. The moon
turns to ivory hanging
in the heavens, a vulture
with a skull’s smile.
Summer is the rife season:
Birdsong is made of green leaves.
Insects sing and become dust
again, death’s feathers.

What does the moon ask
of the summer? The sound of
the rain is darkness.

When the rain falls through
the mountain, the bottom of
summer’s night turns white.

Winter speaks with the voice of
the wind. Water pulses in
veins under its icy skin.
A mouse creeps; an owl
listens. Creation wakens
in the spring, the roots go deep.
But the root taps dust, delving
in last year’s feathers.

ae_FearfulPleasures2HERONS
There are so many alewives running
up the millstream today
that the herons are standing on limbs
above the waters
rather than in the currents.

They need to rest, it would appear. They
need to have the shoals stop
battering their knees with hard noses.
Even the eagles
and the ospreys are taking
a breather. Goshawks, crows, jays, swallows,
even hummingbirds and
downies ply breezes between feeders
and the falls. A pair
of turkeys walk the lawn: Go
away, I’ll feed you corn in the fall.

SORTING
All that is behind us now,
the rime upon the window,
the floe of the river, the
creature starting at shadows,

but for how long? How long is
the shade of a pine thrown at
our feet on a sheet of snow?
We may stroll no farther, yet
we do, clear into jonquils
sorting themselves on the lawn.

MILLSTREAM
Where the brook falls into its
lower self, the water breaks
among stones, between oaks and

junipers. I wonder how
it will mend itself, but it
does, and I never notice.

FAITH
Where is it we think we’re going?
There are 72 virgins
waiting for you — and for me, all
my cats, if there is a heaven.

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