And finally…poems

I recognize that I hunger for poetry – periodically I canvas new poetry books and the old on my shelves to be STRUCK – to be wakened – charged – re-membered – into some leaping alive sensibility awareness delight sorrow grief ecstasy – that the vividness and risk of well-made poems incite…

for me, anyway.

Thus, the Bolano.  A beginning.

Thus, returning to Nooteboom, a certainty.

Thus, the new arrivals shelf – Wichita Public Library.

and then…today…BOOM.

Bob Hicok, tested favorite, “new arrival,” Elegy Owed

the jump-start.

the activation.

something like recognition and instigation at once.

what poetry does.

and having no idea where to begin to share it with you

to recommend

to commend to you

I’ll just offer the opening poem:

Pilgrimage - Bob Hicok

and the closer…


Hicok - Good-bye

and to tell you that everything in between is every bit as good

and some even better….



Small white church at the edge of my yard.

A bell will ring in a few hours.

People who believe in eternity will sing.

I’ll hear an emotion resembling the sea from over a hill.

One time I sat with my back to the church to give their singing

to my spine, there’s a brown llama you can watch

while you do this in a field if you’d like to try.

I don’t think even calendars believe in eternity.

Beyond the church is a trail that leads to a bassinet in a tree.

Someone put it there when the oak and sky were young.

I’m afraid to climb the tree.

That I’ll find bones inside.

That they’ll be mine.

I want to be with  my wife forever but not as we are.

She’ll become a bear, I a season: Kodiak, spring.

Part of loving bagpipes haunting the gloaming is knowing

the bloodsinging will stop.

Beyond the church I pulled a hammer from the river.

What were you building, I asked its rust, from water and without nails?

This is where I get self-conscious about language,

words are love affairs or séances or harpoons, there isn’t a sentence

that isn’t a plea.

This is where I don’t care that I’m half wrong when I say everything

is made entirely of light.

This is where my wife and I hold hands.

Over there is where our shadows do a better job.

– Bob Hicok, Elegy Owed

10 thoughts on “And finally…poems

  1. Beautiful, so beautiful… I am impressed in his poetical lines… I love poetry too and especially in this language hits me so much, I can feel or realize the beauties of this language… something like that. Dear N Filbert, I always visit your blog and your posts… I take notes or I keep them to read them later like a book. You know me, sometimes my brain stops can’t understand well enough… I always need a time for reading in my private tower between beautiful posts of yours 🙂 Thank you so much, have a nice day, love, nia

  2. Very kind, Nia, thank you so much. It means a lot that someone cares. And it’s good to watch your photograph-ing extend and change, expand and innovate.

  3. Shelly Saunders

    Where to begin, indeed!
    The image of a skull “watching with empty sockets” is rather chilling, to me.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the Elegy Owed. I’m sure I never would have stumbled upon this without your pointing me in this direction!

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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