from Pond – a sequence by John L. Stanizzi

6.58 a.m.
20 degrees

Petulant nuthatch cranks at me to fill the feeders.
Open water yesterday is frozen today, and yesterday’s ice is
noticeably thicker this morning. The hoarfrost-landscape is
dull, but the sun has just risen, and soon the dew will glint and then vanish.


12.27 p.m.
22 degrees

Pitiless, windless, these days before the solstice,
occurring this year in concert with the full cold moon,
never to happen again until 2094.
Don’t see a single reason to plan for it.


12.28 p.m.
28 degrees

Papyral leaves encased in this new ice
on which I stand with caution,
numbly recalling days when a
dropped puck meant slash, clatter, grunt, dusk.


1.28 p.m.
32 degrees

Princely flurries that can barely be dubbed squall
obfuscate little in the dead calm.
Nurturant fruits of the labor have woven a
damask shawl gray as the curl of my breath is gray.


7.50 a.m.
29 degrees

Pastel grass, white-infused green and brown; the sun winnows through the
overcast sky, and the only movement is the whorl of smoke from Butch’s chimney,
narrow gray spiral in a gray sky. Snow flurries this Christmas Eve morning
deepen the things that weigh on my soul, the losses falling like snow that is barely noticeable.


7.35 a.m.
33 degrees

Christmas, 2018

Presents? Twilight. The pond one-third frozen. The sun
overlaying the moon, ornaments in scattered blue light,
notes of Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter there too, though
dawn on the water is the first light of Christmas I see.


John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut River Review, and many others.  Stanizzi has been translated into Italian and his poems have  in appeared many journals in Italy.  His translator is Angela D’Ambra.  Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

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