Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday poem #473 : Robert Hogg : The Poem that Starts in the Night




If I look out the window
of this house I am given
to live in white

ice and snow
my own heart

the landscape

a picture
of what I am

to myself   

    my family my

and warmer
than ever I might

in a more luckless
time have known

    but I do not
count my blessings
as I know I should

though there are
no shoulds

she tells me                   

    four chairs to sit on
and a sleeping cat
on each

on the divan

Big Kitty
on the rocker

I might push to
the window and read

in the coming

asleep on another

and in the easy chair
Baby Cat

curled up
in peace

And all this
reminds me
to let things

fall into place
around me

as best I can

asleep in our bed
our next child deep

in her womb

in his crib   

pleasures and fears
will lead him

away from his soul
what kind

word or hand

lead him back


On the third
of February
I make my

annual call
for spring

Winter is
killing me
again it

finds me
as usual

wrapped in myself

Every winter
it’s the same old
thing only

older      older
this is what

the ritual

always forget
to tell

that we all die
a real and final

death as well
and each of these

brings us closer

to what it means
to turn white

as driven



God knows
we try to beat it
as even these Hyacinths

forced into life
bloom now

in February
for our delight

but will not again  

    though planted in
the ground they are

and multiply
their kind

    we kill them
for their beauty
breed them against

so we can have

life in a landscape
of death

a fragrance of
winter spring

    It is true
even the best
would kill

to have life

in their world           

            though some
I believe
would die

rather than kill
just to live



   So this

and love
fills our house

including the dog
and Nelly

curled up in
the kitchen

are in a possible
dream of summer

such as only
warm sleep

and fragrance
can provide

while I am
awake thinking
the many ways

you have made
this house

a bit of brightness
when your own thoughts

are shadowed
much of the time



    Love that
comes in the night
or early in

the morning

at first light
when doubt

and the mind

questions every
action every

belief become

sleeping arms
and legs now

shards of intellect
bits of hair in my eyes

shreds of my own

a heart
pounding fear

because I cannot
believe an age old

dream of love
and renewal

could still
be true

    If only I
could bow
my head

for a while

let my spine
uncoil my


a little
maybe then

I could feel
the near

a dreaming




    And what do I fear

    That I need to die 

I do not
need to die this
hyacinth saves

my neck from the ax
for a time at least

grows pink in the dark
basement before

being brought to light
where it blooms now

in the frosted pane

It shows me a gentler
birth a gentler
death courts the heart

so we who live and die
in the world of which

we are the instance
day in and day out

may find our way
to withstand

the undoing of night

    And so we force
these hyacinths
to bloom always

and necessarily
ahead of nature’s

call and then
discard them

for the real
spring flowers

    So too the poem
bursts in the dark
awaiting light

RLH: Hawthorne Farm, Gloucester ON: 1973-02-03, when Leslie was pregnant with Cyrus.
Rev: Mtn: 2020-06-24-25; 2020-07-12; 2020-07-13; 2021-12-27.






Robert Hogg was born in Edmonton, Alberta, grew up in the Cariboo and Fraser Valley in British Columbia, and attended UBC during the early Sixties where he was associated with the Vancouver TISH poets, co-edited MOTION - a prose newsletter, and graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing. His books include: The Connexions, Berkeley: Oyez, 1966; Standing Back, Toronto: Coach House, 1972; Of Light, Toronto: Coach House, 1978; Heat Lightning, Windsor: Black Moss, 1986; There Is No Falling, Toronto: ECW,1993; and as editor, An English Canadian Poetics, The Confederation Poets – Vol. 1, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2009. He recently published several chapbooks: from LAMENTATIONS, Ottawa: above/ground, 2016; two Cariboo poems, Ranch Days – The McIntosh from hawk/weed press in Kemptville, ON; Ranch Days—for Ed Dorn from battleaxe press (Ottawa 2019); A Quiet Affair – Vancouver ’63 (Trainwreck, May 2021); and in August 2021 a chapbook titled From Each Forthcoming (above/ground). In December 2021, a chapbook will be released from Hogwallow Press, called The Red Menace, and another from Apt 9 Press in Ottawa, called Apothegms.

rhe Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tuesday poem #472 : Lindsey Webb : from Garden


Winter comes to the garden, then fall, then summer. Hours construct themselves exactly as fast as they disintegrate. I came here to read and speculate but forgot how I got in. Ants imply distance to cover; death implies time has gone on without you; I should start over. Maybe I’ll go into real estate. You place your finger lightly on a string, and the garden oscillates at several modes. I put on a face like a window and walk around the plat. I’m waiting for the northern cardinal to catch his reflection in my face, to wear himself out fighting it.





Lindsey Webb is the author of a chapbook, House (Ghost Proposal, 2020). Her poetry and other writings have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, jubilat, Vestiges, and Lana Turner, among others. She was named a 2021 National Poetry Series finalist. She lives in Salt Lake City, where she is a PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan