IMAGE OF EARTH AND QUILL

Guest Poet Gail Hoagland



Grey Rain


I canít remember 
the years things happened.
I do remember the day.
Where I was at.
The smell of the day.
I remember the day
of my divorce--windy and cold.
Trash was blowing around the yard.
I remember the day 
my grandmother died.† I was at the movies.
I remember the day the call came 
telling me my nephew was dead on a mattress. 
It was Saturday morning.† I took a bath.
No box-springs under the mattress.

The days
are marked in my mindís memory.
The moments
marked with big black permanent spots. 
I mark
my days in diaries, paychecks,
and library due dates.
The days no one dares 
mark
increase.† Grow faster
than my graying hair.† 

My friendís son
was murdered on her birthday.
1/356th of a chance
and it happened.
Her grief refused to budge.
She celebrates her birthday 
on another day.
Joy moved over for sorrow.
These are dates frozen under the earthís ice.
Mammoth fossils frozen in our mind.

Pain acts like an icicle
dripping onto stalagmites.
Growing closer to the clouds.
The more years I count
the fewer months I have
without days marred
by the sad, gray rain.
Four months left unmarred.
Four months left to celebrate.


May, 1998


Gail Hoagland's Questions:

Is the poem clear enough to have validity?†
What lines need to be deleted?†
Which lines are the strongest?†


Correspond with Gail Hoagland at
gamusgra@Wiggins50.K12.CO.US
with your ideas about this poem.




The Father

Fathers draw† myths
when we are growing 
in our motherís bellies.

It is the stuff they
talk about after supper.
It is the dirt
in their bones.
It is the rocks 
rattling their dreams.

My fatherís myth
was wheat.

His hard jaw line
rehearsed our myth
with tractor† moans.
He recited to me
in my sleep ,
a night time rhyme.
over and over
planting the wheat
firmly in my mind.

The myth was why.
The myth was all we had.
my mother.† my brothers.
He and I.


May, 1998


Gail Hoagland's Questions:

Is the ending too corny?
I was raised on the farm and wanted to explain partially how it is a "myth" type of experience.
Is this poem successful?


Correspond with Gail Hoagland at
gamusgra@Wiggins50.K12.CO.US
with your ideas about this poem.



The Albany Poetry Workshop