POSTCARD FROM THE WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON
by Ann Malaspina
No heavy barges carrying vital freight.
No Dutch explorer marking a new map
or Mohican canoe bearing beads and fur.
Instead, a sailboat motors upriver;
a pair of weekend kayakers hug the shore.
Shad gone, an eagle circles hungrily.
PCBs cling to shell and stone
and salty brine thickens on
the wharves in
At the convenience store by the steps
we wait as a boy grabs a Red Bull
and a woman gets her Mega Millions ticket.
We hurry back over before the gates close.
Now the weather’s changed. The wind is up.
The sky is all colors behind the mountains
and the river unfurls, a black satin ribbon,
far beyond where we can see.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Camille Saint-Saens
2. OF TIME AND TRAINS by Rob Stuart
And still the distant roar
Of time and trains
Carrying these loves from their gathered rooms
Where for a day we spoke and laughed as children
Endlessly, against the wind.
It was like spring, whose daffodils
Make time precious,
Nor roar but silent speak
To one another before they turn their heads
Again to earth.
We walk uprooted, saying, What time now?
To catch a train.
These pangs of letting go
Severing the indivisible.
Not death, yet something
Rumbling when two of us divide.
You board the train
In time and leave me to my silence.
But still the distant roar.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58 (Movement 3: Largo) by Frederic Chopin
3. SUNDAY by Ramon Mojica
Another Sunday blows by me
Like notes from a saxophone breathing heart break
The streets are almost deserted
Except for a few souls on Sunday errands
With newspapers under their arms
They navigate a sea of cabs
Which prowl the streets looking for that perfect fare
And whom isn't really going anywhere
Once around the city they'll say
And please wake me when we get there
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Rhapsodie for Saxophone by Claude Debussy
4. STONES AND SHELLS AND SEA GLASS by Lois Read
I pick up
shells and stones and sea glass
wave-glazed and glossy still
on early morning beach walks
add them to those
which sit, shine gone
at home upon the shelf.
It seems each walk
must be remembered, marked
with pockets full of evidence
as though the moving moment
will slip out of reach
at tangible talisman.
Yet once the luster leaves
the sea gloss dries
the sweet kiss of salt air
has left my cheek
the pile becomes
just stones, and bits of glass
something to dust around.
Well then let us make a pact
to savor shells and glass in situ
with every other shining thing
like angel wings and fleeting loves.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sea Glass (for Cello and Piano) by Sharon Ruchman, Mary Costanza, cellist
5. THE FURY OF SUNDAYS by Ann Sexton
the heat leaking through the hinges,
sun baking the roof like a pie
and I and thou and she
eating, working, sweating,
droned up on the heat.
The sun as read as the cop car siren.
The sun as red as the algebra marks.
The sun as red as two electric eyeballs.
She wanting to take a bath in jello.
You and me sipping vodka and soda,
ice cubes melting like the Virgin Mary.
You cutting the lawn, fixing the machines,
all htis leprous day and then more vodka,
more soda and the pond forgiving our bodies,
the pond sucking out the throb.
Our bodies were trash.
We leave them on the shore.
I and thou and she
swin like minnows,
losing all our queens and kinds,
losing our hells and our tongues,
cool, cool, all day that Sunday in July
when we were young and did not look
into the abyss,
that God spot.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Slow Dance, by Kenji Bunch