Two Poems by Carl Boon

 

INSTEAD OF KEATS, OCTOBER 1993

I was staring out the window
at autumn, Maggie
carrying a violin.
She was heading down the hill
to practice, then dinner, then
to stretch her legs on a sofa
at the Kappa house.
Maggie was the mattering thing,
she was autumn, not the barn-
boy surrounded by words:
“winnowing,” “oozings,”
a million kernels, the play
of language the professor
called autumn. Personified
was useless because Maggie
was right there, touchable.
I imagined her drinking beer
Friday evenings, lifting her camera
to scarlet branches
Saturdays after breakfast.
Or calling her mother
for the news from far-away
Nebraska—being lonely in Ohio.
There was no need of Norton
anthologies, poppies, fumes.
One could witness first-hand
Maggie afternoons in Slayter
Union waiting for her coffee,
studying Chopin’s movements
in her notebook. So I received
a B in Romantic Literature
but dazzled myself in other ways.

 

PAST FIVE HOUSES BEACH

Past Five Houses Beach
on the Marmara Sea, the sand
becomes muck mixed with cracked
scallop shells. She steps
among clumps of sea-grass, too.

She is eight, a believer,
and even the abandoned shore
is worth believing in,
and beautiful. Her feet
maneuver with the wisdom

of adults. The people above
at the Owl Point condos watch
with glasses of tea, sandwiches—
the fishing boats beyond them
stalled or going for mackerel.

I barter with her to come back.
I say there are beach balls
and dogs, minnows swimming
by the pier, but still she goes on,
practicing for later mistakes.

 

Carl Boon lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Posit, The Tulane Review, Badlands, The Blue Bonnet Review, and elsewhere.