Poet’s Basement

At Rupa

A sweet girl is smiling at me.
I don’t recall her name.
Inscribed on the back:
“To a sweet soldier.”
Rummaging through a dusty memory
leaves me without a hint.

Perhaps I wanted a picture of a girl.
My girl I could say.
I see her at my sentry post
when Yugoslavs threatened to take Trieste.
I trust such moments.
She stands beside her English bicycle.
More innocent than even I can believe
I ask, “Would you give me your picture?”
I feel my cheeks grow red.


In the manner of Norman H. Russell (1921-2011)

Grandfather has one last duty
it’s to see his wife dead
he must stay alive to care for her
and that is his unexpected
overriding concern
to live that long
and then to let go.

Nothing can compare
to this devotion
despite her desperate state
her saying to him Who are you?
Her kicking visitors out of the house
it is a beautiful romance still
and Grandfather will hold on.

(Norman H. Russell was well known as a Native American poet and botanist.)

Lecture on an Egg

The boiling egg is cheeping
a little chick inside.
It could make a person think
a kind of horror
this cheeping before a birth
and then you’re eating.

And then I come to my senses.
The cheep was escaping air
more whistle than babe
unborn not human yet
which is to be born.

Robert A. Davies lives in Portland, Oregon.  He has published widely in the Little magazines and more recently in CounterPunch.com and Poetrymagazine.com.  He has published Tracks In Oregon, Timber and Sometimes Subversive.  rjdavies1@comcast.net.  

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). 

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. 

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