Two Poems by Shawn Pavey

Mo(u)rning Ghazal
Heavy rains for the better part of twenty four hours.
The river rises, water overflowing its borders.

Thunder fills everyone standing with dread, but lightning
cracks the air, opens us to all the sky’s murderous powers.

Beside a propane tank behind my studio, at the edge
of an overgrown gravel drive, sway black-eyed Susans and lacy wildflowers.

Strong black coffee punctuates overcast mornings.
Cigarettes are good, too, but I don’t smoke those anymore.

Last week, chatted with an old and dear friend who’s writing a book
on “The History of Reading” that I want to devour.

He told me it’s cancer. He told me the executor of his will
will send me his lifetime’s book collection of analysis and verse.

I do not want my friend to die and neither do I want to end.
I am exhausted from saying goodbye, yet here we are.

Ghazal of Regret
Memories of childhood seem to come in various hues of green: Lawn in late
spring, undersides of leaves in shade of that old maple near an opened gate.

Which face do we wear now to the world, under masks, under pandemic,
under virus, under orders, under undermined orders, under fear, under greatness?

Modern times, such modern times these are. All of us instantly connected
by phones in our pockets, by watches, by tablets so devoutly followed and liked, never sated.

Uneasy to predict, tomorrow. Disease of information lacking wisdom and context.
We lock windows. Lock cars. Lock doors and cell phones and minds and gates.

To be new again. To be open, again. To be fair and just and kind and receptive.
To be children. To be smiling. To be singing. To be play and playing. Free. Too late.

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