I took a workshop one day from Cornelius Eady at Squaw Valley. It was my favorite session of the week, almost at the end, everyone exhausted, hardly a poem to be found in any of us. Cornelius, upbeat, made it all work. Here’s a poem of his from his book of the same name:
These leaves which have yellowed and are aloft
Or waving like bright hands at their stems as I drive my
Small red car under this raw and whipped
And the wag of the bare branch,
The argument between the wind
And what the wind desires to push,
The sleet, the hardheaded weather,
This landscape, curling toward sleep.
A year has passed since you died, and you died, and you.
I steer towards my house upstate.
Friends, who ever thought
That I’d own doors you won’t open,
Floors never to carry your tread?
My CD player does its random shuffle,
A traditional folk song rumbles the glass,
And I think of Whitman, nursing his wounded boys
At the military hospital, his poetic romance of death
Now a kid’s thready breath he can’t repair, or a young hand he grips
Until all the possibility in it lays cold.
Here is my middle-aged throat, singing along as I drive,
Singing to you.