Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You Are by Hank Kalet

You Are
by Hank Kalet

steady for me
though you sometimes feel wobbly yourself
my mind feeling frayed
like a weakened seam that
holds together an over-washed shirt
centers on you
like a star in the night
like the distant coastline glimpsed
from across the vast ocean
you are my beach
as I break upon your shores
my quiet blanket on the sand
the quiet moment
when the sun slowly fades
below the horizon

Friday, April 25, 2008

Runner's Poem by Hank Kalet

Runner's Poem
By Hank Kalet

dried apple core
a turquoise toothbrush

humanity's wasted mingled
among pine cones

and grass clippings
along cracked macadam


tissue box crushed
colors faded

robins' voices
chirping counterpoint

to rhythms of runner's feet
pounding worn pavement

(Written and memorized while running five miles this morning. I jotted it down on a scrap of paper when I finished.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bird on a Bay Window by Hank Kalet

Bird on a Bay Window
By Hank Kalet

black-feathered birds
do battle
sweep in with the scraps
of our weekend raking
in small beaks
the thatched undergrowth
scraped to the surface
placed atop the bay window
relentless they return
no matter how often
I clear the ledge
mud stains dead grass
five times maybe six this morning
this orange-breasted bird
swoops in and away
oblivious to my repeated

Monday, April 21, 2008

Found Poem of America by Hank Kalet

Found Poem of America
(a draft)


half-scraped decal
of American flag,
egg-shaped, scratch-edged,

flaking away
to nothing
on side window

of greasy
service station,
near propane tank,

the size of
a small car,
near Coke machine

and back fence
that obscures
the sprouting weeds,

the fast-food wrappers
and newsprint
telling stories

of rising taxes
and broken bridges,
of corruption probes

and jail time
for crooked pols,
the window’s glass

grime-streaked, caulking
cracked, paint peeling
from trim, glass

midday sun,
window facing

stand of trees
that shrinks as
work trucks carve

out space from
thick woods for new
medical offices

and strip mall,
trucks idle today,
summer afternoon

with no breeze,
waiting to buy

to grill burgers,
Mets game
whispering from

my car speakers
as traffic whizzes
past on Route 27.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sonnet of the Everyday by Hank Kalet

Sonnet of the Everyday
By Hank Kalet

Just in case
she didn't see his car was gone
or that he'd emptied the closet
of clothes or
pulled his books from the shelves
or disconnected
the stereo but left
the Technics turntable
she got him
last Christmas
he left her a note
no explanation
just a note to say
so long.

Published in Chronogram, March 2006

Friday, April 18, 2008

Scraps by Hank Kalet

By Hank Kalet

The doves in grainy
black and white, blasted
from their cages in
the New Baghdad Market,
torn up, crumpled
like the newspaper pages
we used to pack away
the Christmas ornaments
just weeks before.
“Death has become
so normal for us”
said one teen as he
as he collected
“scraps of flesh,”
the remains
of the victims scattered
like the snapped branches
and loose trash stuck
in the brambles
and bushes littering my yard.
“It doesn’t scare me
anymore,” he tells the paper,
“because I’ve seen
a lot up to now.”

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Te Deum by Charles Reznikoff

I'm reinvigorating this side blog with a poem a day -- some by me, some by others with credit and links. Today, linked from the Academy of American Poets:

Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day's work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

From The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff. Copyright © 1976 by Charles Reznikoff. Used by permission of Black Sparrow Press, an imprint of David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc.