Two Poems

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March 16, 2011 by The Citron Review

by David McAleavey


Fire tree on a Greek island

for Vasily Tsapis, on Sifnos

The fire in your field, crop residue,
shoots a thick trunk up,
sends out smoke foliage
spark blossoms
and dies.

You say you’d forgotten how potent
the fire would be, startlingly hot –
maybe larger than in other years;
your mirroring fear, answering its power,
a column as suddenly growing,
fueled by the stems
and stalks of pleasures
no one would want to lose.


At the beach

One of those who
addressing you indirectly
won’t mind if you look –
hasn’t been lifting weights to impress or scare you,
dieting to make you eager or envious,
sporting new fashions or a suit leaving “nothing to the imagination.”

One who lives simply, while aware of (and after all resembling)
weightlifters, the fashion-conscious.

Whose toes are in sand.

Like the shorebirds, always eating
or at least
always hunting.


David McAleavey’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Georgia Review; his fifth and most recent book is HUGE HAIKU (Chax Press, Tucson, 2005). He has recently had work online in Ascent, Eclectica, Denver Syntax, The Medulla Review, Innisfree, and elsewhere, and in the current print numbers of Poet Lore and Poetry Northwest. Work is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Hubbub, and a number of other places. He teaches at George Washington University in DC.


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