Monday, January 31, 2011

Two Poems by Bill Berkson (from Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems)

On Ice

Doors of jostled vicinity
An eager angle extending in the sky a grey chasm
Tip of island street morning wash
A waking minute pointed to end quote
Squeeze left in diamond-beaded industry
Wedgeful elaborations desist
Shut behind us without saying
White lights from the powder-keg days

If I Pray To Anyone It Is To You

If I pray to anyone it is to you.
You make a U-turn and are immediately apprehended
By the power vested in me and taken away from you
Because you are minus identity at this moment
Where you linger
In a bad frame of mind
Like some weather on earth
Perpetually stained, and it looks like home.

So borrow a shiny pen
From the highway patrol
And see the boats, instant pairs
That idle steadily
On the fortuitous tides.
A grey caulk-expanse for hammers,
As a lady takes a doughnut from a car trunk.

You never know what lands to the eye,
Seeing air stir water visibly.
But water comes to hide it.
Just a mole's margin of sand in any case.
And the nib flows.