Two Poems

by John Marvin

Hook Line and Stinker

you’ve got the scart before the gorse
plucky yellow flowers plucky thorns
sweet entanglements for chats to nestle
consider the little bird’s safety call
—no no throw me to the bramble

as I stroll under a waning moon
along a stony beach becalmed
while throbbing on the sea another moon
reflects cold reflected light so solemn
so soon to whisper some secret

slithering within in and out redoubt
for a timely brief history pop crackle snap
proving as the night the day sans doubt
each string singing up down strange charm
from bottom in morning warmth to top at last

so a listener I listen but a sea breeze freshens
and a glowing horizon reddens eastern clouds
blending secrets in a largo canon
an arcane arising of a new day
and my awakening still dark

Fantasy on Lines by Rilke

 (<Gk. phainein – to appear)

Mag auch die Spieglung im Teich
oft uns verschwimmen:
Wisse das Bild.

what rhythm shall I choose—
the two step beat of bards
or counting syllables
ou vers libres of the garden
or the doctor’s breath
or the beating of a heart
a sound of surging life
river warm as valley stillness
clouding over awaiting
summer lightning
for relief

even reflections on ponds
often merge indistinctly
also get wise to appearances
for in those clouds of reasons
another presence eludes
that very surface
upon which lingers
wisps of light
uncertain
sliding together
ghosts
of some
forgotten
shore


John Marvin is a teacher who retired and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo. He has poems in scores of journals, and literary criticism in Hypermedia Joyce Studies, James Joyce Quarterly, Pennsylvania English, and Worchester Review. His book, Nietzsche and Transmodernism: Art and Science Beyond the Modern in Joyce, Stevens, Pynchon, and Kubrick, awaits a publisher..
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