Gerald Jonas



                                               

Three Short Poems

 

 

The Book of When

 

The endtimes come and go. 

 

In empty silos

neighbors vie for leavings

and learn the patience

of raptor or prey. 

 

A new ardor

takes the name of need.

 

The hunted inherit

the blinds and multiply

to the slither of water

endlessly washing its hands.

 

Dread-tide, receding,

undrowns us one by one.

 

      

Palm Springs

 

Rooftops whitely resist the sun.

Silent as lizards golf carts scuttle

from green to green. Like dowsers

old men point their clubheads at the

desert’s heart: a sunken river real

as Coleridge’s. Behind their shades

plungers shuffle cards and bet

their pills against the odds.

 

 

A Dream of Salmon

 

We dreamed of a calm

at the riverhead where

birth and death meet

like spent arrows,

but never made that leap. 

 

Instead, where salt met sweet,

you saw in feathered lure

a pledge of flight and

quick as prayer ascended

to the dream of air. 




Gerald Jonas is the author of six nonfiction books: On Doing Good: The Quaker Experiment (Scribner’s, 1971); Visceral Learning: Toward A Science of Self-Control (Viking, 1973); Stuttering: The Disorder of Many Theories (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1977); The Circuit Riders: Rockefeller Money and the Rise of Modern Science (W. W. Norton, 1989); Dancing (Harry N. Abrams, 1992, companion book to TV series); North American Trees (Readers Digest Books, 1993). As a New Yorker staff writer for thirty years, he wrote major articles on subjects ranging from computers, basketball, and science fiction to biofeedback, psychology, aging and the brain. As the science fiction critic for the New York Times for thirty years, he reviewed nearly 1,000 works of science fiction and science. His poems and short stories have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, Grand Street, Loaded Bicycle, and elsewhere. He recently finished his first novel, RiveR: A Grandmat in Three Landings.










                                    

 

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