Barbara Crooker


Traveling north from Dublin, both sides of the highway
roll out in every shade of green, while along the berm
or flush against stone walls: the bright splash of daffodils.
On barren hillsides, the gorse is in bloom, furze
covering the heath, a heap of gold. After the billow
and build of storm clouds, lightning’s piercing needles,
the tumult and cadence of the rain, perhaps this, then,
is rainbow’s end: not glittering treasure, a hoard of coins,
but instead, thorny bushes growing where nothing else
can flourish, blooming for all they’re worth,
just because they can.

Daily News

The ordinary world. Lights on, shades drawn
at dusk.  Pea soup in a slow cooker. Frost
in the garden.  Fire in the gas grate. Turn off
the  television. Don’t let car bombings, mass shootings,
political spewings in. This is our history: you, me,
the flames, the cat. The rest is static and noise.
Outside, the stars have chalked their stories
on the sky’s dark slate. The street is empty,
and the house is warm.


Maybe night is about to come
calling, but right now
the sun is still high in the sky.
It’s half-past October, the woods
are on fire, blue skies stretch
all the way to heaven. Of course,
we know that winter is coming, its thin
winding sheets and its hard narrow bed.
But right now, the season’s fermented
to fullness, so slip into something
light, like your skeleton; while these old
bones are still working, my darling,
let’s dance.

Barbara Crooker’s books of poetry include
The Book of Kells, forthcoming from Cascade Books in 2019. Also Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017), for which you can read Janet McCanns appreciative piece in this issue of Innisfree. Her other books include Radiance, her first book, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book Award and was finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance, her second book, which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Excellence in Literature. Her writing has received a number of awards, including the 2004 W.B. Yeats Society of New York Award, the 2003 Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Her work appears in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania and The Bedford Introduction to Literature. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Moulin à Nef, Auvillar, France, and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. Garrison Keillor has read her poems on The Writer’s Almanac, and she has read her poetry all over the country, including The Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, The Austin International Poetry Festival, Poetry at Round top, The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium, and the Library of Congress.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: Pattiann Rogers

Kristin Berkey-Abbott

G.F. Boyer

Dan Campion

Grace Cavalieri

Barbara Crooker

Terence Culleton

Moira Egan

Rod Jellema

Jean L. Kreiling

Michael Lauchlan

Sean Lause

Laura Manuelidis

Janet McCann on Barbara Crooker

George Moore

D. Nurkse

Kurt Olsson

Roger Pfingston

Sadler Poe

Karen Sagstetter

David Salner

Marjorie Stelmach

Robert Joe Stout

Bart Sutter

Mary-Sherman Willis on Kim Roberts

Anne Harding Woodworth on Martin Galvin

Martha Zweig















Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020 - 12:30:13 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2020 Cook Communication.