|From and About To Enter the Stillness|
|"To Enter the Stillness moves from simple to complex observations within forms that remain open to humor and epiphany." |
|"In Douglas Schuder's poetry we find a sure hand and a watchful eye. He brings uncommonly graceful phrasing to everything he sees."
HERON He plies his blue trades On wings of sky. Each rounded downstroke Making a valentine of air. Horizon-bound, In a far place to alight With a rasping squawk And a windy shuffle and tuck Of great wings. Then, To stand in shallows Stick-still On legs of yellow reed— A bone-and-feather fishtrap. He is the boundless sky And the distance. The high passer-by At dawn and dusk. Prowler of wide tidelands. Threader of tangled marshlands. Sleepwalker, abroad in a silken dream Of water, cloud, and air. Lord of lily pad and cress. Keeper of the stillness. SLIP KNOT With what suddenness We crossed friendship's subtle bounds, to know Intimacy of the knot! Propelled by long-deflected need Past caution, to that junction Of tangled limbs, pressed lips, and breasts, And the rest—except what each withheld. Forgetting to be kind We made the tie that intertwines But does not bind. Unstrung, flung back upon Our separateness, we marvel How, beneath friendship's masks (The careful comity of he and she), Strangers waited to meet, and clash Thigh to thigh, then retreat To heal the wounds Neither meant to deal. THE CHANGE Thin november light, Dissembler, of bright dawns that spawn Brief, brittle days. Sharp november wind and rain, Shaving earth's scruff to stubble, Unmasking the leaner face. In this barbering, Shoreline, hillcrest, grace of trees Are by reduction clarified. Soon, flesh shall be pared, the white bone bared. Surfeit of leaf and light Lent to the year's youth is spent. Autumn's blood runs thin, claret to gin. All sensible things bear portent of change. Mind, too, feels the intruder's breath: What thins light, chills air, and stirs Wind and rain to divestiture, Winnows thought of chaff. Garnered thus, Not less, but spare and clean, Its grain. THE SLUG He gives himself to art. His vision is profound. His brush the underpart of him, His canvas all the ground. Not gouache, nor oil, he chose For medium, but slime; And everywhere he goes He leaves a trail sublime.
Copyright © 2000 by Douglas Schuder