Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Susan Gillis: 3 poems

A Walk in Winter

When the clouds lifted I crossed the snowy fields to the old apple tree at the top of Toboggan Hill. A large dead limb lay over the bench, its ripped end coal black against the snow, the length of it like a brook caught and frozen in its running, vanishing under the snow.

I walked deeper, into the wooded knoll, carried by snow over the tops of brambles and shrubs, the forest sinking away on all sides. My steps were loud, breaking through powder. The air rasped my cheeks.  High up, wind in the conifers. I waited for it to reach me. Far off a jay called; farther still, an answer. By the time I got back, the house was dark, and all its windows reflected the flaring sky.

ink scrawl
an old envelope
its cancelled stamp


At Day’s End

The frogs are returning to water.

They leap across mown grass, they ripple reeds, they blurt into the pond.

Afternoon is drawing its edges together, folding into cloud.

Just now I began to hear crickets where the mower had hummed.

Why does it suddenly seem I’m sitting on a chair?


Delicate Hanging Nest

Forest, sea, stone, palace,
over and over and over.

Everywhere I go in that book,
myth and symbol of the broadest kind.

I’m grateful for the morning wait.
Air, I mean. I meant to type air.

There’s a football team called The Violets.
A men’s football team. NYU. Fact.

Three US submarines have been named Sturgeon.
Karen Solie’s poem “Sturgeon” is not about any of them, really.

Violets are lovely woodland flowers,
springing up among new forest grasses in moist shady hollows

just when birds are nesting.
What about that delicate nest of dry ribbon

woven into the crook of a branch
in a tree in a clearing on Druid Ridge?

Little beauties everywhere, mostly unseen.
I want to cook a ham!

I would dearly like to be forgiven my foolish ways
too, Milosz.

Whatever they are and might become.
Palace, forest, stone, sea.

"Delicate Hanging Nest" has previously appeared in Arc.

Susan Gillis is the author of three collections of poetry: Swimming Among the Ruins, which was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the ReLit Award; Volta, which won the Quebec Writers’ Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry; and The Rapids, which was a finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Gillis is a member of the collaborative poetry group Yoko's Dogs whose first book, Whisk, was published by Pedlar Press in 2013.
about Susan Gillis ...  about  Yoko's Dogs

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I especially love Delicate Hanging Nest, full of surprising turns and observations. Brava!