Equinox at Stonehenge
There are sheep here and clouds
above like wool of sheep
and rumbling memory of wheels
and motors in my head
and sound of corrugated roofs struck with hail.
But here the moon on invisible tracks
rolls in behind the clouds bringing
with it night swallows or their shadows.
I sit on the damp grass outside a mesh fence,
breathing in and out the dark
while my body and my mind float
into to a dream of a dream I forget
as I wake with the sun raising itself
up toward a stone lintel that held a vision
of ancients who had fed on field grain
and drunk wine of grapes crushed
by heels of mystics praising the passage
of fire through the mist of morning
between two giant upright stones.
Great as a god the sun elevates itself
pushing up through the sky slowly
anointing the earth with glow,
a god coming forth to make the fields
grow and the rivers shine, letting
streaming winds come with rain
and sometimes a rainbow.
Golden Rod & the Radiator
In fifth grade our teacher said she would be willing
to discuss any part of the body.
This gave us a lift.
We all knew what she meant, but this was long ago.
And we weren’t clinicians, didn’t know
delicate words for peter and pussy,
though we’d learned what kept Florida from breaking off
into the ocean.
Mostly I studied the black hands slogging
around a clock’s albino face.
A girl brought yellow wild flowers so a boy
could breathe in spasms.
I was more interested in the girl’s
growing breasts than in the history of Czechoslovakia.
Life got a little interesting when the casement windows
were wound out in Nazi salutes.
We could hear wind rustling leaves
and the sound of cars escaping.
There was a tall boy who fell to the floor with fits.
A pencil was put in his mouth to keep him
from swallowing his tongue,
but that didn’t last long.
Once during geography a bird perched
on one of the tilted windows
and pooped little feces for our amusement.
Then the bird flew at an angle so low
I could see it for a long time,
till it shifted upward
tucking its body into the sky.
There was a boy who delighted reading entries
in the dictionary.
What can I say of such a child?
He’s dead now, and I’m drinking
beer in The Red Dog,
where words mean less
than bills slipped in the stripper’s string.
In our schoolroom a radiator kept pis-pis-pis-ing
steam as we calculated two trains’ meeting.
Back then smoke of coal soot
would have snaked behind,
but I didn’t care if those trains
were going to Hell or Hoboken.
William Page's poetry has appeared widely in such journals as Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Southern Review, The North American Review, Southwest Review, Wisconsin Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Ploughshares, The Pedestal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and in a number of anthologies. His third collection of poems, Bodies Not Our Own, received a Walter R. Smith Distinguished Book Award. His recent collection, In This Maybe Best of All Possible Worlds, was awarded the 2016 FutureCycle Poetry Book Award. He is Founding Editor of The Pinch and a retired professor of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.