Paired with nothing, I witnessed the
Occasion of its nearly inaudible thwack
Nearing the pond’s outlet; a single brown maple leaf
Dropped onto the surface and rippled the signal of its arrival.
Plowed perfect, snow mound reflected in the black mirror of the pond.
Oak leaves, blown from the southwest end of the water into the northeast cul-de-sac.
Note of the muddy bottom so low I cannot hear it,
dwindling, darker each day. Perhaps it is the B-flat of the universe.
Pluvial night, the rain hangs on as mist.
Opiate ripples when a branch releases its gems of rain,
normal and lonely an act as releasing its leaves,
downward in silence, all around me the sound of rushing water.
Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, Old Sam Peabody!
Oblique geometry here, mirror-smooth there, thick battered hem, gray
nuances of ice seal it all – those on the bottom – those in the bottom.
Determined white-throated sparrow searching for Sam, though I’m the only one here.
John L. Stanizzi’s full-length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide-Ebb Tide. His new books – Chants, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Sundowning will be out before the end of this year. His work is widely published and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Rattle, New York Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, The Cortland Review, Tar River, and many others.