William Page


Even a blind man wearing his watch cap like a caul

and walking behind a harnessed dog assumed

a hidden disk hovering behind clouds

must be the space ship sun due for a slow descent.

Even his dog's sensitive nose failed to detect

something spectacular was at hand as they waited

for the traffic light to change from red to green.


Nothing foretold flashing trails or black

plumes would color the sky and headlines,

as clocks' hands clicked and numerals

jumped, when the heavens' blasts struck

ears of nurses in starched uniforms and firefighters

leaving polished engines to be homeward bound.

Only pilots had seen the white wings hurrying

into port and starboard engines, entering

like broken angels above the Hudson's

frantic bows soon to honk louder

than swelling voices of geese.   

Passengers shivered on wings

plunged into the Hudson's icy waters.

And from evening's darkness descending,

with his shoulders ablaze with gold

their savior, the magician of air,

appeared to those walking on water.


In the miracle of morning a blind man awoke

to waves of a dog's rib cage, rising and falling,

and for a time the world seemed saved.

Spirits at Low Tide


My spirits are at low tide, and across the plains

I hear a faint voice of wind weary from its long journey

to reach these shores saying

it's the same world it was yesterday.

Last week the elm tree dropped its gold leaves

not knowing the word seasons.

When the light amber of the silk tassel

on the last stalk of corn invites

the moon to take a taste it is never refused.

I sit at my desk where as a teenager

I read Tolstoy and the Magic Mountain.

The left hand of wisdom does not slide away;

the silver shoe horn smiling in the drawer

knows something hidden from the eagle's dropped

feathers, and the ponderous moon

veils itself with clouds I had tried to touch as a boy.

William Page's poetry has appeared widely in such journals as The Southern Review, The North American Review, Southwest Review, Nimrod, Wisconsin Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, Mississippi Review, Cimarron Review, The Chariton Review, Southern Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, Tar River Poetry, Ploughshares, The Pedestal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Innisfree Poetry Journal, and in a number of anthologies. His third collection of poems, Bodies Not Our Own, received a Walter R. Smith Distinguished Book Award. His collection William Page Greatest Hits 1970-2000 was published by Pudding House Publications. He is Founding Editor of The Pinch and a retired professor of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.



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