The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Oliver Rice
IN THE SERENGETI
The air smells of dust.
The savanna stretches for miles,
broken by granite outcrops,
a copse of thorn beside a water hole.
The eyes of the Cape buffalo are blue.
Of the hunting dog are brown.
Of the gunman gray.
ONE KEEPS A FEROCIOUS DOG
These walks are just earnest
and elevated enough to please our journals,
these episodes of the town,
the Parkinson house behind the pickets,
the monument on the square,
barberry, whitethorn, and woodbine.
Thoreau building an arbor in Emerson's garden.
The brown thrashers, the wild pigeons
in twos and threes.
They are digging a cellar on Texas Street.
Do you feel it?
That something else may be the case?
Something worse than disquietude
along the ridge above the Lexington road?
Among the duckweed floating on the river?
AT THE MOTEL FOR PREDESTINED LOVERS
Is this quite what you have reckoned,
such a décor, suspected odors,
intimations of stain, a silence
attentive to the rustle of the street
and of the mores?
How you thought the expectant person
would pace off the afternoon?
Toss the magazine aside?
Skim the phone book?
Lie across the bed, recollecting
the scent of mountain mahogany,
gulls at low tide?
It is the street of the nature of things.
Note how they arrange themselves
according to the stimuli,
It is the afternoon of what happens.
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