Poems by Marvin Bell

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by Marvin Bell

From Canary Winter 2010-11

Marvin lives where the land is contoured like the human body, in the Lower Iowa watershed. He lives also four months a year in the Dungeness-Elwha watershed, on a peninsula from where the Cascades are visible to the East and the Olympics to the West. And he spends two months a year in the Southern Long Island watershed on an island reaching into the Atlantic.

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind,
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane's wing, and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks--a zipper or a snap--
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.


Reprinted from the authorís book, Rampant (Copper Canyon Press, 2004) with permission.



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