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Poets K 

Kilgore - Krapf - Kamenetz - Knott (2) - Kooser (3)
After Years
by Ted Kooser

Today, from a distance, I saw you
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomerís retina
as he stood in the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell.

From Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser, Copyright © 2004 Ted Kooser, Reprinted courtesy of Copper Canyon Press - www.coppercanyonpress.com

Dishwater
by Ted Kooser

Slap of the screen door, flat knock
of my grandmotherís boxy black shoes
on the wooden stoop, the hush and sweep
of her knob-kneed, cotton-aproned stride
out to the edge and then, toed in
with a furious twist and heave,
a bridge that leaps from her hot red hands
and hangs there shining for fifty years
over the mystified chickens,
over the swaying nettles, the ragweed,
the clay slope down to the creek,
over the redwing blackbirds in the tops
of the willows, a glorious rainbow
with an empty dishpan swinging at one end.

From Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser, Copyright © 2004 Ted Kooser, Reprinted courtesy of Copper Canyon Press - www.coppercanyonpress.com


New Cap
by Ted Kooser

Brown corduroy,
the earflaps tied on top,
the same size cap he bought
when he was young,
but at eighty-six
a headís a smaller thing,
the hair gone fine and thin,
less meat to the scalp,
and not so much
ambition packed inside.
He squints from under the bill
as if the world
were a long ways off,
and when he tips it back
to open up his face
to conversation,
it looks so loose
you think that one of them,
the cap or he,
might blow away.

From Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser, Copyright © 2004 Ted Kooser, Reprinted courtesy of Copper Canyon Press - www.coppercanyonpress.com


No Return
by Susan Kilgore

Faded pain has taught me well
To hide and guard my heart
Still fresh are memories of that hell
Of me they are a part.

Years passed and once again Iíll try
To trust you with my heart
Alone feels safe, I canít deny
Yet, of me youíre too a part.

Loyal to a fault, am I
Lifeís lessons hard to learn
I vow to give my last, best try
From this thereís no return.

Copyright © 2008 Susan Kilgore


The Nest
by Norbert Krapf

At the edge of the woods
where it comes close to a corner

of the house, between the moist
curves of ferns unfurling in brown

leaves, I found this tiny nest
in the ground. It was lined

with elements that looked to be
soft to the touch. This was right

near Easter. There was squiggly
movement in that lined hole

in the ground. What moved was
newborn rabbits, so tiny you could

barely tell what they were, and I tip-
toed as close as I dared. My mother

told me that if my smell came too close,
the mother would abandon her babies.

I sensed that the difference between
loving and killing was eggshell thin,

but it was hard to control my impulse
to inch closer and closer. Reader,

I cannot be sure if I stayed far enough
away from what I longed to touch

but knew I must not. Is it shame that
blocks me from remembering the out-

come of this backyard tale? Let us join
hands and pray, in our different ways,

that we learn how to control our impulse
to love that which dies if we come too close.

From Looking for Godís Country by Norbert Krapf. Copyright © 2005 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.


The Dead Are with You . . .
by Rodger Kamenetz

At a loss for words
which is the place
where all words begin.

God is not a two-timer.
Once he makes up his mind
that is the end of it.
One big idea
from the beginning of the earth
to the end of time.

We are at a loss for words
which is to say
the dead are at our lips
and remain unspoken.

To address the dead
is to find them at home.
They are sitting
in their favorite chairs.
One of them
is smoking a pipe.
Another is a child.

The tendency to repeat
oneself is the dead part
of the conversation.
It is like a prayer
to deaden the soul.

Yet no longer believing
at odd moments
in the conversation
we pray to anyone
who will listen.

From The Missing Jew: New and Selected Poems by Rodger Kamenetz. Copyright © 1992 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

Total
by Bill Knott

Babel on the table falls,
my poem topples
into words
whose rubble shards

I try to stack back up until
they crumble still
again: but all
my efforts only pile

those collapsing tropes
in heaps
of worthless chips
which are

counted forth
with column patience
over and over
by the miser Silence.

From Stigmata Errata by Bill Knott. Copyright © 2007 by Bill Knott. Reprinted courtesy of Saturnalia Books.


Commuter Skills Needed
by Bill Knott

I'm like a spaceship flooded with roadmaps:
The guidebooks that marked and led me here are
Archaic. All the ways they praise have lapsed.

They program mirage the moments I know---
Even my going home fails threshold then;
The path I nailed's a trail of blood whose flow

Is like what, a heritage halt, but just
How extinct can I get by existing,
Must I recant the past or can I trust

My family when they promise me some
Of us have not abandoned what crumbling
Almanachs applaud in words verbatim

From Star Ache reruns: they say our save screen
Is full of the old jism, the thumb-jam.
Can one yuckskull of us hold that vision

Safe, can they fly off fled inside its sky?
From vid to vid we lean, to wave goodbye.
It's like that thing that whatsit wrote, but I

Know it's mostly misquote. It don't apply.

From Stigmata Errata by Bill Knott. Copyright © 2007 by Bill Knott. Reprinted courtesy of Saturnalia Books.

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