Saturday, June 4, 2016

Three Poems by Don Mager

June Journal:  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Like balls hanging in tight rows on each
twig and bough to trim a tree, small hard
peaches glow in lime and rouge and sun
bright orange.  The squat tree's maladroit limbs
long to stretch high and embrace the high
east light.  Their small crinkly leaves long to
sing high notes in the key of green but
plentitude and lavishness share a
different scheme.  Fruit conspires to pull the
tree earthwards.  Brokeback branches stretch and
bleed their sap's shiny amber blood.  Large
black ants nibble at the gum-hard scabs
and sun's daily deep massage weighs down
each fruit with succulence and juice.

June Journal:  Friday, June 21, 2013

The kitchen window, hands washing last
night's wine glasses in warm suds while
coffee steams, wants to recall the vow
to the indelibility of
sunset.  The vow holds vacancy as
wide as grief, for its out-flowing light
flowed out.  Morning shadows entice the
window's new found infidelity.  They own
half the shaggy grass.  Crisp and sparkly
with dew, the other half is kiwi
green.  Free of promises, chickadees
twitch and skip from shade to light and back.
Both halves of lawn join voice and command:
Drink your cup, we want our fresh mow now.

December Journal:  Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beneath the shelf of clouds, darkness wakes
its appetite.  The pre-dawn air is
lemon sherbet crisp.  The tongue wraps it
up within its breath.  It savors the
long draft ride down the wind pipe to fill
the lungs with sassy tang.  The sun hangs
back in the wings waiting to bring on
the main course.  It tosses small puffs of
raspberry pink chilled shrimps up against
the underside of clouds as a tease
again the palate.  The palate stands
solitary in the presence of
its naked consciousness.  Taste and breath,
tongue and lung are fused as one organ.

Don Mager's chapbooks and volumes of poetry are:  To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and 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.