Monday, February 3, 2020

Blue Pages 3.5 — John L. Stanizzi

. . .

Note about the following blue page, from the author: These short poems are acrostics from a project called POND. This is a one-year-long project. Every day, at different times during the day, I visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I jot down some notes, and take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presents itself. Then I head home and write a four line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which makes the project so interesting to me, is that I cannot use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, and D word every day for a year; I began the book on November 9, 2018 and will complete it on November 9, 2019.

. . .

8.00 a.m.
22 degrees

Pristine pond…not a track, not a windblown ridge; I am
obliged to whisper give thanks for this most gentle snow.
Noiselessness is an image in this softest flurry, as two robins
drink from the chill stream, my presence just another piece of the drama.

8.38 a.m.
29 degrees

         Snow 3-5 predicted.

Purifying snow, steady and in relief on all the branches, and yet
our thoughts this morning are of the coming warmth; your days are
numbered snow storm, and although the pond is a flawless white,
days of emergence, of new life, days of color are right there, almost in sight.

8.37 a.m.
3 degrees

Pussywillows have blossomed, heralds of spring, though a storm is in the
offing -- six to eight inches overnight.  Three creatures have made their
nightly crossing over the pond, or one creature has crossed three times, 
deft and as lithe as my boot-prints are emblems of a lumbering thing.

2.01 p.m.
34 degrees

      nearly two feet of snow

Pressing down on the pond, massive white clouds seem to have weight, and the
occultations of tree-shadows cover the pond with a heaviness; the
nodding cedar, hung with great bolts of snow, bends toward snapping; everything feels
dense – snow, ice, clouds, wind, the air in my lungs as I trudge through two-feet of snow.

11.42 p.m.
22 degrees

Passerine -- three toes forward and one toe back, this merl
overtakes the suet feeder, all feet and squawk, they scrap beak and
nail, pushing and shoving, clawing and biting, up from the pond they
dominate the feeder, more fight than food, a bad example for the chickadees.

John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Blue Mountain Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and many others.  Stanizzi has been translated into Italian andhiw work has appeared in many journals in Italy. He has read at venues all over New England, and his newest collection, Sundowning, will be out later this year with Main Street Mag.  Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

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