Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Three Poems by Harry Underdown

By the Wind Deformed

A cypress clings stubbornly
to life atop the ocean-side
bluff, pressed close to the
sands and rock, deformed
by the wind, pointing out
the direction in which its
daily oppressor has fled,
not the direction from
which it always arrives,
apparently more intent on
accusation than on prevention.

A Gordian Knot

Unable to simply slip
the hook from a blue gill's
mouth because it has
disappeared down the fish's
throat, unwilling to lose his
quarter-dollar's worth of
tackle by cutting the line,
a father hacks clumsily at
the blinking head with a
dull knife to "put the poor
thing out of its misery,"
uses the blade to open its
throat, tears out the hook,
and, as he kicks the body,
still twitching, into the
lake, explains to his son,
"Now it will deteriorate
and go back to nature" as
if congratulating himself
on a job well done.  Let's
hope people express
similar sentiments when
the time comes to dispose
of his remains.


Two crows confer
on a spruce snag,
sizing up their
opportunities down
below and sharing
a wink.  They've
seen something
shining in the
undergrowth:  an
aluminum candy
wrapper or a
wedding ring.

The anatomically superfluous Harry Underdown is a man of many tongues who has his finger in many pies.  He keeps his ears to the grindstone and his noses to the ground.  All of which makes him a natural at "X-treme Twister," but is hell on his posture.