M a t t h e w   G r a h a m

Catskill Lullaby

                              For Jordan Smith

Something was always for sale --
Fire wood, snowmobiles, shotguns --
Among the poverty of ignorance
In those old mountains
Still savage in their slow decline.
There was always snow, jumper cables,
And old, cold cars filled with exhaust
And cigarette smoke.
The nights were long dreams
Punctuated by the cries
Of the Erie Lackawanna
Pounding through frozen crossings.
Jack lighted deer hung gutted
From the hand hued cross beams
Of collapsing barns near the forgotten history
Of stone walls and the foundations of farm houses.
In spring, the mountain run off rushed
Through the washes and gullies,
Past clumps of rusted rhododendron
On its way to the faraway sea
Where, in my sleeping heart,
I so ached to be.

Ronald Beaver

I thought I saw Ronald Beaver today
In a bar off 47th street,
But it was just another laid off ad man
Bent over his bourbon and racing forms.
Ronald Beaver – how I remember him
Before he left for England.
Those all night pontifications, his beard
His definition, his eyes wise and wild.
How he warned us of the drinks taking drinks
As he poured more drinks, and of sorrow.
Long walks to the Strand or Washington Square
And talks of how this city
Was just one more dragon to slay.
The broken avenues.
The sad cafes.
Ronald Beaver.
I think I’ll leave him now where he belongs,
On a bench in Covent Garden, among the pigeons and mimes,
Watching yet another young magician
Practice his sleights of hand.

Matthew Graham’s third book of poetry, A World Without End, was published by River City Publishing. He teaches at the University of Southern Indiana.

is now publishing poetry and prose
inspired by these, uh, "tough economic times."  

Your editors/mortgage-backed securities managers:  
Howie Good, Dale Wisely, F. John Sharp
Sister sites:  Right Hand Pointing & White Knuckle Press

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