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Memorials & “Lying Now In the New Grass” a Poem by George Hitchcock

June 20, 2011


the wind falls the fields
fold in upon each other
like wings on a sleeping
insect. The house heavy
with the day’s sweat sighs
beneath the hand of dusk.

All things sleep:
lilac iris bracken
windmill & anvil
the stones which dream
of moss the cold stars
in endless heaven.

Now may all rutting lovers
under this lace of leaves
lie down in comfort.
Let them not hear the dew form
over the pastures or foresee
its sharp hooves in the loam.
May the plow of night
pass over them.

by George Hitchcock from Turns and Returns

This has been a week for writing memorials and reflecting on those who have past:

Yesterday June 19, 2011, I posted about E Street Sax Man Clarence Clemons aka “The Big Man” who headed off stage for good.

Saturday June 18, 2011 I posted about the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Reading & Art Show Saturday, Carnegie Oxnard; I participated in that by reading 4 of George Hitchcock’s poems.

Friday, June 17, 2011 I wrote a bit about Johnny Cash, who lived in Ventura County (I even lived around the corner from his former wife) in “Celebrating the Man in Black: Roadshow Revival Saturday.

And earlier in the week, 0n June 14, 2011, I wrote about The Wrecking Crew, a film which memorializes the musicians behind many of the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s, many of whom died before getting much in the way of recognition.

You might even say Ron Well’s guest post of June 7, 2011 which reviewed Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is a memorial for the people who past 30,000 years ago and who left such mysterious and haunting traces behind.

So for today’s Monday Poetry Train, I am posting one of the poems I read by George Hitchcock and which has widely been anthologized; you can find it in Turns and Returns: Poems and Paintings by George Hitchcock published by Philos in 2002 ($12.95) as well as in One Man Boat: The George Hitchcock Reader from Story Line Press 2003 ($18.95). These are both wonderful collections and I am so happy to have purchased them both at Saturday’s event (thanks Jackson!) If you come across either one, I am sure you will enjoy these wildly imaginative surrealist works.

Next Monday, I plan to post a poem that includes Johnny Cash and of course, I have a whole poetry book that serves as a memorial to my mom, Suzanne Lawrence who died July 30 and which is dedicated to my mom and to Paul Squires aka GingaTao so memorials have been on my mind for a while now…

You can buy my new book of 3:15 experiment poetry  Middle of the Night Poems from Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son  from en theos press in print or ebook or from Amazon). Read sample poems here. Read a review by Robert Peake here.

You can also join me at Ventura College on Monday; I’ll be reading poems and discussing writing process at two free workshops that are open to the public.

For more poetry by bloggers from all over the world, catch the Monday Poetry Train!

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