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Sample Poems by Frederick Turner

Prout’s Neck, Maine

Who set these woodgrained stones just so?
Who trims the bilberry so fine?
Who dwarfed the pine, who set the glow
Upon the pink-horned columbine?

The bleachy driftwood, stamp-pressed whin,
The foot-played pebble xylophone,
The mallow lined with hyaline,
Who stops them getting overgrown?

Who sees to it the brilliant green
The wave takes, as it rears to break,
Is darkened into serpentine
And then dissolved to wedding-cake—

Yet paints its haunches shining blue?
It’s all of you. It’s all of you.

And Could It Be

And could it be
This green suburban patio
That opens to a tree
Crippled with mistletoe—
Whose trellis bright with vine,
Where the doves nest yet,
Wisteria and jessamine—
Were heaven’s alphabet?
And what if I
After these years of seeking,
This mad incessant odyssey
Into the world’s innermost speaking,
After the to and fro,
Telling the world what I myself scarcely believed,
Seeking to sing the world into what I would know,
Were all the time deceived,
And the answer lay here below?
What if this patio
Were all the portal we
Could ever need to know?
What if the tree
Were withered so
That what will be and what will never be
Might both have space to grow?
Where the doves nest yet
In this suburban patio,
May then be all the sign we get
Of heaven’s great green archipelago.

Pantheist Haiku

I talk to my cat
while its blue eyes scan my face.
Whose thought are we, then?

Karate Practice: Summer Night in Crowley Park

It is so mute, so sweet, this enfleshed strength.
It flows at pressure through the limbs and breast
And a high violence holds me undistressed.

The breath is easy, and the feet are locked;
Each step in the dim grass traces an arc;
Each strike and block falls to its stillshock mark.

And now an ancient new-moon rises, huger than
The trees and distant rooves, haloed in blood,
Heavy and golden, like the fist of god.