October 31, 2016

Two poems by Richard Luftig

What Remains

Winter seems intent
on overstaying its welcome
and the ice grasping

the last open water,
has taken full control.
Mist and smoke from chimneys

mingle in counterpoint
while the dull-gray
sky hovers in dusk

in order to ply its trade.
But the weeds
between the boarded-up

houses know what to do:
they raise their chins,
to keep their heads above

the snow line.
those masters

of light, flatten
and fade. Keep
 they whisper

in my ear. This wind
will cut you like a poet
paring, always paring

word after word,
eliminating everything
bare to the bone.


(A  poem in the shi Tradition)

It is still; all day here.
Same, planted land, stitched
Together. Towns too shy
To announce themselves.

It is still; this skyscape.
Clouds of satin pillows.
This barn, this bale
That stand no-where.

There are tractors in a field.
There are combines on the land.
There are scars plowed into this soil.
Nothing lasts longer than these days in July.

RICHARD LUFTIG is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in Pomona, CA. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

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