Page 28                                             Spring 1987

POETRY


Juggler

Years come down, curling

Off the nape of his neck,

Onto space soaring.

They return in a hundred years

Where he catches them,

One by one, by name.

Smiling in his juggler's stance

He is all of seventeen.

Cool Nordic eyes pierce a shadow's shadow,

Then the sky.

All the houses fill and empty

All is gone or shall soon be going

Seasons and lovers like trains,

Procedural, on schedule,

The myth of Jericho,

Everything we put together.

 

Across the linen creases

On the bed of man and wife

Lays the silent partner balancing.

His task is equilibrium,

So difficult to find in the light

Of an unwilling moon,           .

A world gone brooding.

 

He is an aphrodisiac for spirit,

While our small worlds falter and fall.

He tosses spheres like odes

For us all, for endurance,

For everyone who chews the dust.

One by one he is casting us out.

 

Christopher Woods - Houston, Texas

 

Entertain Me

There must be something

you haven't done

with your eyes, lips, ambidexterous

hands, against the wall on

the bed. Look at those shadows

there! In the hall!

 

There was this guy, I think guy,

in Harvard Square who was

a hit, known all over there,

for four or five years;

all he did was keep

six balls in the air.

 

Frank Anthony - Windsor, Vermont


Balancing Act

Up here on' the high wire it's a sheer

sure-footed dance, a one-night mission

under the Big Top, without a safety net

 

to cusion. It's the taunting misstep,

the sharp intake of breath, exhalations

of the squeamish egging me on, and the world

 

marble-smooth, veined to the core, perched

on the tip of my tongue. I juggle spangled

orbs from one palm to another, a marriage

 

of holding on and letting go. You'd think

by now I'd let it fall, the world cracked

open like a skull, bits of hair, feathers,

 

the loose associations. But once I knew

the buttons on a fly, the upturned collar,

the child licking her fingers imagining

 

an Africa, I knew all matter while compressed

is no longer solitary. Ask me how I keep it

twirling, defying gravity with every turn

 

I'll never tell. You won't read fear

in eyes that glitter, dazzle, take you

by storm. Come one, come all, observe

 

communion with infinity. See the fabulous

steps, the foolhardy toes. Be amazed

by the pupil of possibility.

 

Barbara Goldberg - Bethesda, Maryland

 

The Boy Who's Learning to Juggle

lives in a haze. Sky blue balls

follow him, like disciples

roll in a smooth arc through the wheel

of his young life.

 

He studies the crest of the pitch,

the neat slap of the catch

and says he knows a girl so tall

that when she stands, he nearly drowns.

 

His hands flutter like new birds,

risk everything in order to fly.

The air folds an endless ellipse.

He throws fast and shallow

then hard and deep into the sky,

simple and perfects as breathing.

 

He says he's ready for sabers

and torches. He says he has odd dreams

that he can breathe underwater,

the he can swim for miles and miles.

 

Margo Wilding - San Diego, California

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