Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist and poet. His collection of poems, What the Dust Doesn't Know, is forthcoming from Salmon Press.
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Preparing For The Storm
The Greeks know how tightly coiled
are circumstances with many windings
before tragedy’s spring snaps.
The horse bolts flame-like from the gate;
we do not see its years of training.
So too, the thunderhead today slow bloating
and thickening with muffled rumblings.
The steeds were restless, but the reins
held tight, until a crack of the whip
unleashed the pummeling flood.
Heaven's Back Door
Eschewing perfection, they knotted in a flaw,
the human signature and kink that made
the carpet whole -- not less perfect, but more
for the fraying edge, the bleeding dyes
that cloak their treasure in disguise,
an act of indirection modeled from on high:
as when the Deity said Be ...
and out crawled -- the twisted,
the crippled, the deformed.
Somebody noticed this quaking purplish spray
hung incongruous on late-winter's bough,
and tied a festive bow of multicolored yarns
to cheer the anomalous blossoms,
To you who are lost today
like a needle in a haystack, reading this poem alone.
Alone, brother island, sister moon. The ocean is big,
Richard Schiffman Reads
This month's poet, Richard Schiffman, reads his poem, "Alone." Richard Schiffman is a poet and writer who splits his time between New York City and New Mexico.