Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Three Poems by Don Mager

November Journal:  Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Like the silent loping of a deer
as it emerges out of shadows,
passes and subsides in the distance,
beneath the ripe gold of the full moon
a solo runner glides down the street.
His tireless legs glow white and lithe in
washes of lunar clarity.  His
white gloved hands piston-pump the frost cleaned
air.  Beneath his hood, breath clouds spurt from
his thrumming oxygen-flushed heart.  His
loping stride passes the house.  Without
a shift of gear, his body leans as
he glides up the steep hill.
                                        The morning
paper dangles from the watching hand.

November Journal:  Thursday, November 21, 2013

As light packs up to sail west, the
air tastes chilly cider residue.
On the ledge above the tired rake,
the few last sips at the bottom of
the thick mug fill the mouth and linger
happily.  They scarcely notice how
alone they are.  All day the palate
is busy with the herby dryness
of leaves.  The mouth imbibes gulps--all day--
of cold air spiked with dust.  Now air takes
in, with each waning sip, pristine breaths
of vanishing light and holds their bright
bouquet.  Scattering light's soft ashes
across still dark waters, air exhales.

November Journal:  Saturday, November 23, 2013

Resigned to be bare patches of cold
clay where fallen leaves are scuffed aside,
afternoon crawls parched and impotent.
It mumbles through circle on circle
of prayer beads whose repeats transform time
to timelessness.  It kneels and looks down
on the stream whose leaf clogged pools are glass.
Their lit icons flicker in the shade
of the bank.  Unmoving, afternoon
succumbs to a trance.  Unmoving, the
stream stares back.  From carcasses of trees
in distant wetlands, unnoticed crows
caw and scold the ears' inner edge but
they are tuned to hear silence only.

Don Mager's chapbooks and volumes of poetry are:  To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owned to Death, Borderings, Good Turns, The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time, and Russian Riffs.  He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD).  He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011).  As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech and Russian.  He lives in Charlotte, NC.

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