“Ode,” by Eric Robert Nolan

I love the way you
draw your lips, divine,
in your tilting smile.

If I could only
draw your lips, in lines,
the portrait would beguile.

Would that I could
draw your lips, to mine.
Delight me for a while?

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2019

 

The_Arts_Dance

“Dance,” Alfons Mucha, 1898

“Don’t impede the centipede.”

Don’t impede the centipede;
He’s in a rush (so hence his speed).
His hundred legs move him to feed
Upon a morsel in the weeds.

(c) 2018 Eric Robert Nolan

Hey … you guys think you are creeped out?  At first I thought it was a caterpillar, and I almost scooped it up.  If that isn’t a recommendation for needing new glasses, I don’t know what is.

[Update: I have been reliably informed that this is not a centipede, but a millipede.  They’re herbivorous and quite harmless, while it’s those squiggly little red centipedes that do bite.  These are the things you learn when your high school friends go on to become science teachers.]

 

“school shooter” poem featured in Peeking Cat Anthology 2018

Hey, gang! I’m honored today to see my poem “school shooter” published in the Peeking Cat Anthology 2018.

The book was released this morning and features work from 58 creators from around the world. Thank you, Editor Sam Rose, for allowing me to share my voice alongside so many talented writers, artists and photographers.

The anthology is available for purchase in both paperback and eBook format. (You can find purchasing information via the links.)

I hope that you all are having some fun on this cool and crisp October weekend.

 

product_thumbnail

It’s a windy, rainswept morning in Roanoke, Virginia.

So how about a poem about a windy, rainswept morning?

This Windy Morning,” by Eric Robert Nolan

The gales cry,
their sounds rise,
so strangely like
the wailing of children.
The gales
have ripped a rift in purgatory.

Along the low hill’s haze
and indistinct palette of grays,
the thinning slate shapes
are either columns of rain,
or a quorum of waifish wraiths.

Condemned but inculpable
are those little figures —
long ago natives maybe — in an ironic,
insufficient sacrament:
this obscuring rain’s
parody of baptism.

If that faultless chorus
should never see heaven,
they will ever be wind without end
their lamentations ever
shrill within rare
arriving spring downpours.
Always will the squall
imprison their calls.

You and I should refrain
any temptation to breach
these palisades of rain —
lest we be greeted by each
iron-colored countenance:
the sorrowing slim nickel
of an infant’s visage,
little boys’ graying faces,
the silvering eyes of the girls.

© 2017 Eric Robert Nolan

 

Rodrigo Paredes

Photo credit: By Rodrigo Paredes from Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina (Raindrops on the window) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“Gonzalo,” by W. H. Auden (recited by Eric Robert Nolan)

“Gonzalo”

— from W. H. Auden’s “The Sea and the Mirror”

Evening, grave, immense, and clear,
Overlooks our ship whose wake
Lingers undistorted on
Sea and silence; I look back
For the last time as the sun
Sets behind that island where
All our loves were altered: yes,
My prediction came to pass,
Yet I am not justified,
And I weep but not with pride.
Not in me the credit for
Words I uttered long ago
Whose glad meaning I betrayed;
Truths to-day admitted, owe
Nothing to the councilor
In whose booming eloquence
Honesty became untrue.
Am I not Gonzalo who
By his self-reflection made
Consolation an offence?

There was nothing to explain:
Had I trusted the Absurd
And straightforward note by note
Sung exactly what I heard,
Such immediate delight
Would have taken there and then
Our common welkin by surprise,
All would have begun to dance
Jigs of self-deliverance.
It was I prevented this,
Jealous of my native ear,
Mine the art which made the song
Sound ridiculous and wrong,
I whose interference broke
The gallop into jog-trot prose
And by speculation froze
Vision into an idea,
Irony into a joke,
Till I stood convicted of
Doubt and insufficient love.

Farewell, dear island of our wreck:
All have been restored to health,
All have seen the Commonwealth,
There is nothing to forgive.
Since a storm’s decision gave
His subjective passion back
To a meditative man,
Even reminiscence can
Comfort ambient troubles like
Some ruined tower by the sea
Whence boyhoods growing and afraid
Learn a formula they need
In solving their mortality,
Even rusting flesh can be
A simple locus now, a bell
The Already There can lay
Hands on if at any time
It should feel inclined to say
To the lonely – “Here I am,”
To the anxious – “All is well.”