Richard W. Halperin – Three Poems

photo-2Richard W. Halperin is an Irish-U.S. dual national. His full collections are published by Salmon: Anniversary, 2010; Shy White Tiger, 2013; Quiet in a Quiet House, 2016. His chapbooks are published by Lapwing: A Wet Day & Mr Severidge Sketches; Pink, Ochre, Yellow; The Centreless Astonishment of Things, all 2015; and Blue Flower, June 2015. Mr Halperin will be reading this summer at the Monasterevin Hopkins festival.


I left my poems in the mountains

I left my poems in the mountains
because I was about to disappear.

I left them by a rock near a tree
in a sort of glade.

I hadn’t thought of most of them
for a long while anyway.

No one came upon them.

Then an ant walked over them.
Later a doe saw them

and nudged them with her nose
before going on her way.

During the night
the breeze ruffled them

but not too much
because they had grown soggy.

In not too many days they coalesced
into a sort of  dried grey lump.

A goat noticed it
and ate it

and all was well.


House of Bamboo

If it is a good poem
Most of it withstands the wind.
As the Parthenon, what’s left of it, has.

The house leans a little of course
And creaks (bamboo)
And is hollow (bamboo).

But the breath that made the wind
Is in it
And the poet who made the poem
Is in it.
So there are three of you.

It has withstood
What granite and bombs and death cannot.

Hamlet asks,
‘Now, Mother, what’s the matter?’
(Something always is.)

A little house of bamboo.


Cured of His Blindness

A great poet is blind.
But he does not stay blind.
He is cured of his blindness.

Does this mean
he will write less-great poems
because he is no longer blind?

He sees with his soul.
He has always seen with his soul.
His eyes are only

a companion in this.
He is writing now
under the plum tree.

All the words make one word:
‘I love you.’
Is he addressing the poem to his wife

or to language?
‘There is no difference,’ he says.
‘She is my language.’

 

 

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