Two Poems

by Peter Lopatin (July 2020)
 

Mountain Landscape, Emil Nolde
 
 
See
 
Tell me only what you see, without
interpretation. Can you do it?
Look, there, where meadow
angles down to creek, and
the greenery becomes
the kind that likes wet ground.
Go there for me while the
light still falls just as you see it
on the willow’s hanging, western
arms. Go there, and tell me only
what you see.
 
Or, if it suits you best, go, some
late October afternoon, to the city’s
northern edge where a road you’ve never
seen decays to gravel. Allow your eyes their
liberty and see tire-ruts filled with water like
a ship’s bilge, tinged with
gasoline rainbows from passing cars. 
 
But if you’re strong enough, you can
stay in place and release your eyes
from their accumulated obligations,
and in that state, I’m told, if you see
one face and give no thought to thought,
you’ll see every face that has ever been
or can ever be. 
 
If I could see all this myself, I would.
But my sight is bound to
darker things, to ghosts and
their interpretations,
bastard children of thought and sense,
the oldest consummation.
 
So, go now in my stead and see
what’s there, in all these places.
But promise me you won’t explain:
just tell me, and then—as if there too—
I’ll see it all and know it with you.
 
 
Marking Time
 
There was no purpose in the air today,
no steel tempering in an ardent fire,
no billowed sails, no desperate play.
 
No jumper plunged from the sky today,
tearing at the ripcord of desire,
feeling that he must fall away
 
and trust in uncanny threads of silk,
or die enlivened by his brazen plunge.
There were no heroes of that ilk.
 
No one dared that brave descent.
The day declined its chance at glory
and would not accept what it was sent.
 
Instead of fire from the grinding wheel,
I saw blank eyes stare back at me
and then remembered what I wished to feel:
 
The unnoticed interstices of sense,
the intervals in which we question time
and each of its thousand cords relents.
 
But there remains the promise of another day.
(It will come; it was here before.)
I saw it once, though when, I cannot say.
 



 
 

____________________
Peter Lopatin was born and raised in New York where he earned his JD degree and practiced corporate law for thirty years. Along the way, he studied philosophy as a graduate student at the New School for Social Research. After retiring from his legal practice, he obtained a Certificate from the New School in teaching English as a Second Language and has been an ESL teacher since then. He has taught at the University of Connecticut/Stamford, Norwalk Community College, Manhattanville College and, most recently, at the Stamford English Language Academy. Peter's short stories and book reviews have appeared in Commentary, The Weekly Standard, The New Atlantis, and New English Review. His poetry has appeared in New Millennium Writings and Poetry East.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
 
Comments
No comments yet.

Order at Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon.or Amazon UK.


Order from Amazon or Amazon UK today!


Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2572448. #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile

Subscribe

Categories

Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (4) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (864) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (579) Daniel Mallock (5) David J. Baldovin (1) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (74) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (6) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9679) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (69) Gary Fouse (155) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (330) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (12) Hugh Fitzgerald (21120) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (23) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janice Fiamengo (1) jeffrey burghauser (1) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2513) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (2) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (5) John M. Joyce (391) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (43) Michael Curtis (652) Michael Rechtenwald (15) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2590) New English Review Press (82) Nidra Poller (73) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (132) Rebecca Bynum (7192) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (26) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (884) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (32) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
clear
Site Archive