W. F. Lantry
is the recipient of the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award.
His poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast
, Tennessee Quarterly
, The Charlotte Poetry Review
, among other journals.
He works in Washington, DC.
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He’s found some shelter! How long will it last?
He coaxed a drop of whiskey towards his glass
from his diminished flask. What brain would clear
after so bended a bout? He must conclude
after his calculations of the cask
this is his last year.
Not just on this continent, friends, the rude
opinion’s universal, and for him:
he’s lost his reasoning, and lost his slim
American appearance. Now his beard
mimics the lines that flow out: ragged, weird
as the six horned goat they found in Rome
at the end of another reign. His rein was short
and stable, being pegged into this ground.
But maybe he should tug that tether home,
retrieve in California his thick past;
amid those earthquakes, people have been found
to slip an awkward man a snort.
“Le monde est désobeissant...”
Last Saturday, I took James for a walk.
He’s four, and moody. Sometimes he just needs
to burn some energy. The forest, wet
with still more rain arriving, waved its boughs
and from the bridge we watched the western bank
crumble into the current, one more tree
falling across the span. We headed back
and our whole yard, between spring wind and dogs
and James himself, was wreckage: garden hoes
and ski poles, broken pottery, a few
cut logs dragged up the hill for some lost game
and left there to roll halfway down again:
it seemed too much. I carried him inside
and staggered up the stairs, whose banister
was missing more than one upright: they made
in his imagination, rapiers
against stray dinosaurs. Down the long hall
baskets of lingerie confused our path
and hymnals blocked the door. I pushed right through
and there she was, still working. All around
her swirled programs, sheets of music, stacks
of ancient scores, and she the vortex of
all chaos sang an ordered song so sweet
I acquiesced to measured harmonies.