Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

Three Poems

The Fields

Where I grew up
the fields had names,

The Brown Ground, The Brick-hole,
The Moss Bottom.

Earthed, each one,
in our practical affections.

The Waterworks Park

What do I bring home
from the Waterworks park
where I walk daily?
The same as I leave behind;
voices of waterfowl
with a lot to say,
all of it in the original;
the way water lies always
at the right level;
the heron because of his presence,
the heron because of his absence;
the fishing club camouflaged in their little tents
like a territorial army;
the half-flight of swans, dragging
their feet in the water;
the children pitching crusts
into the dangerous storm of wings;
the undisturbable silence
of the football stadium between matches;
the freewheeling of the Milewater stream
towards its modest whitewater tumble;
the flattest sound in the universe:
the slap of joggers' feet;
the voices of immigrant women
pushing their prams
through a new country;
the water lilies, the bulrushes, the greening sedge;
the thought of how one place
can furnish your head and your heart.
Once more I embark
on the half-hour voyage-in-a-circle,
the inexhaustible mile.


My left arm is jealous of my right,
the one without a tremor. When Right
pours a glass of wine or throws a ball,
Left stifles a mild shiver of reproach.
I call him Agitans and let him take charge
of the big jug of water, so that the ice
tumbles into the glasses like a subsiding cliff.
He peaks in the football season when Arsenal play.
If they get any better, I'll have to snuggle him
tightly to my chest, strait-jacket style.
Meanwhile, his brother Right is undeterred
by his burgeoning duties. And once, once only,
has released his own answering tremor.

Frank Ormsby

The Darkness of Snow
Wake Forest University Press

To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem