Four Poems


by Michael Shindler (July 2020)


Melting Snow, Max Pechstein, 1912



Fancy and Fire

Fancy and fire are quick to go,
Like notes plucked up and off a lyre,
Like the mouth that would sigh and blow
Fancy and fire.

Where went the church bell, where the spire?
The lantern that at late would glow
Is lost—its light gone up to choir.

The morning comes, so does the snow,
The stars sigh, the sun breaks the mire;
At last, a farmer wakes to sow
Fancy and fire.  


An Apple Grows Old

An apple grows old in the field
And an age goes to waste by night.
Is that tree young—are its leaves bright?
Is nothing left—nothing revealed?

A man wept loud and a child squealed:
One saw fate and the other fright;
An apple grows old in the field
And an age goes to waste by night.

A wound had scarred; a wound had healed;
A tree grew and reached all its height:
Its leaves were gray, the sky was white.
The sun fell and so that tree’s yield;
An apple grows old in the field
And an age goes to waste by night


An Altar Gone


An altar gone in the hour;
A god wandering in the dawn
In search of a lost white flower:
An altar gone.

Below in the field, a white fawn
By the base of a black tower.
But above, in the light, a swan.

The light grows in lively power.
The flower to that light is drawn.
The fawn eats and it is sour:
An altar gone. 



Let Light Fall

Let light fall on the fallow field
And let it lay a while;
What the dead sow, the day will yield,
As fate yet yields a smile.

To follow fate, to follow fate,
Walk all the livelong day,
At last and late, approach the gate
And fall yet yon to pray.

The field of faith needs little light
And prayer little breath;
What yields the day, yields so the night,
As faith yet yields to death.



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Michael Shindler is a writer living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in publications including The American Conservative, The American Spectator, National Review Online, New English Review, University Bookman, and Providence. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelShindler.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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