Michael Lauchlan

Written In Water

On a cool March night
          I follow the railroad    
reciting what Keats I’ve retained   
          A plane crosses low     parts
a quiet that laps back in
          Darkness rises from underbrush
falls from slate clouds        The faint
          warmth of day slinks away
Something about bees
          about ripeness “more
and still more”         Traffic drones—
          rises     ebbs     Another plane
descends toward lights     They must
          be stacked up     burning fuel
waiting their turn     I pause
          on the viaduct as a stout man
pushes a cart underneath     He’s reaped
          his share of empties and walked
ten miles in a day’s slow circuit
          but cops pass too often for him
to rest here tonight    Bats wheel
           above     beeping through the chill.


A bloom, after all—the algae
shimmers with green midday
luminescence. A man and a boy

and a girl sit at a dock’s end
ensconced in rarest silence,
fishing for whatever will nibble.

Though it’s fall, they wear shorts
and flip-flops. The still air
feels like a breath wafting west

from a steel mill in Detroit.
I rest my bike against a tree
and stroll past geese who sneer

and hiss. Today, no heron waits
in shallows opposite, his storm-
blue neck slowly turning.

No breeze stirs the lake’s bright
surface as a whiff of something
fetid rises in the heat and three

figures quicken a quiet dock
and a dad helps a small girl
slip a worm onto a hook.

Michael Lauchlan’s most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from Wayne State University Press (2015). His poems appear in New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Innisfree, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Ninth Letter, Harpur Palate, and Southern Poetry Review. Poems are forthcoming in Radar and Rhino.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page


Bruce J. Berger

Joe Bishop

Dan Campion

John Delaney

Katherine Fallon

David Lee Garrison

Ted Jean

Laurie Lamon

Michael Lauchlan

Sean Lause

Peter Leight

Laura Manuelidis

Susan McLean

Nicholas Molbert

Jesse Morales

James P. Nicola

Jean Nordhaus

Patric Pepper

Simon Perchik

John Perrault

Roger Pfingston

Mark Rubin

Michael Salcman

Andrew Szilvasy

Faith Williams

Terence Winch

Anne Harding Woodworth














Last Updated: Mar 10, 2021 - 2:35:35 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2021 Cook Communication.