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After a Long Drive • Clock

Robert A. Davies: Rain pelting the roof above the bedroom. Moving ahead in a river its rocks and gurgling waters.

Rain pelting
the roof above the bedroom.

After a Long Drive

Moving ahead in a river

its rocks and gurgling waters.
A dipper's trills --
from alders in pink bud
firs green as ever
eerie notes ascend
of a Swainson's thrush.

Beyond the wildest dreams
of poets to imitate
by ingenious and extravagant metaphor.
A composer might try
a wee piece for violin.

Black waters no longer,
the road keeps going on.


That crazy old clock
that stays in his head.
Tok tok Tok tok
it keeps time
the time it was seized
by Nazis or Slovak neighbors
from the old Jew Samek.

Samek himself made the clock
of wood entirely,
the wonder of the village.

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That the clock is gone is unlikely —
someone must be listening
somewhere to what it would tell.

Something About My Poem Timber
re my acre in Timber, OR

Timber is a poem
and I am in it,

all the woods I have known
in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire
Idaho and Oregon –
white pine, juniper, oak
cedar, larch, ponderosa,
Douglas and grand fir, alder.

Entering the trees
as another presence –
observer, recorder, visitor
ageless, unchanged in wonderment.

A winter wren might call,
myself responding in kind.
The bird will have lost its name
observed and observer blurred.

Or I, but no longer I,
woken to a shadow self –
a woods much altered,
an acre become a forest.


Timber is a poem
not written by me.

Robert A. Davies