Poetry | October 2022 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Poetry | October 2022

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I can hold a note

But just the one


William Carlos Williams Repaints the Red Wheelbarrow Then Fills It with Plums

Because once again, the rain

water has pooled, the chickens

have shit, and my X-Large Depends

are sagging and this is just to say

it’s after breakfast and

blue also is beautiful and—

this brisk morning—the shade looks lovely

as backdrop to the piled plums,

catching the light just-so:

fruit and day so cold

and so delicious.

Forgive me.

—Marjorie Maddox

Late Afternoon at the Audubon Sanctuary

Probably in her late eighties

Shy, not coy, smiling wanly,

She tilted her head and lowered her sight

Lifting it only as we passed on the trail

Through the scrub pines.

She’d been photographing

The trail map with her iPhone,

Steady as she could,

Taking her time.

He was ten steps behind her

Carefully reading a marker

“The Salt Marsh”; that’s all it read,

But he was taking his time.

In his bony hand he held

Several small white shells,

Chipped, bleached,


They looked like little children again,

Hansel and Gretel

Nothing to say, only looking

Touching the world in ancient appreciation

And wonder.

Perhaps when he was three years old

His parents brought him to the beach.

At the straggling slow end of the day,

On the long walk back to the car he stopped

To read some sign, the cracked and bleached

Shells in his little hand forgotten.

Maybe he’s living his life backwards now

And three years from now

He’ll return to his parents, and her, and tell,

“Look what I found!”

—Thomas Schwarz

Game of Telephone

Now he is much more than a MOMA patron

He is the angry man holding the knife

while the guard throws the binder he was holding at him

and over two frightened French tourists who will later

recollect the event as someone who’s been stabbed in the

underarm. Other witnesses will report a back and a throat

stabbed. The video recorded a white man around sixty

with a colorful shirt under a black jacket and a blue

surgical mask. Fabian Levy, the mayor’s spokesman,

recapitulates: people were screaming “Shooting!”,

as if the projectile man who had just received a letter

revoking his Museum membership were anything else

than a New Yorker who had been in line with other

neurotic New Yorkers to get their MOMA tickets.

Jo Walker—a graduate student at Yale who uses

the pronouns they and them—were in the second-floor

cafe waiting to see Bringing Up Baby and reading out loud

with their friend the Wikipedia note on the incontrollable

laughing fits of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant while

filming this endearing 1938 comedy in the company of

the trainer of the tame leopard standing off-screen

with a whip for all the scenes. “We had no idea

what was going on” they said to Alyssa Katz, the deputy

editor for a local news site. The circus had just started.

—Diego Antoni

Three Hundred and Thirty-Three Barrels

are staring at me. It is well past midnight,

and I am indifferent to the random

tolling of time’s bells. I have taken

to dissecting shadows, twisting them to fit

my mind’s mood. The one in the corner

looks like Oklahoma. The one hanging

over my bed looks like Elvis’s sideburns.

I am sure that one is an omen

of an overloaded future I do not want.

I roll over instead,

bury my head in cool blue linen,

pretend I am fish.

This tank is suffocating, filmed in forgetting.

I start tinkering with the plastic

seaweed. Without thinking,

my fins configure a figure

that looks a little too much like a gun.

I drown in the idea of firing.


I watch the bubble float up, and feel

my body rising to meet them. I only hope I wake

belly up.

—A. J. Huffman

Cathedral of Pines

That certain slant of August light is

Blended so with gold.

It sends its linear aurum through

The pinewood’s darkened hold.

There is, at last, no hubbub here:

Let silence all enfold.

In the church of the brimming forest

There is quiet all around;

The golden cozy blanket runs

From treetop to the ground.

Eager nature needs breathing space,

And peace now fills this glade.

The resting trees respire and

Infuse with their perfume

The tranquil spans of gilded light

That find routes through the gloom,

Shoot golden spans of lucky light

That coax trefoil to bloom.

The earth, too, lends its fragrance

Spiced with life and death, the both

This ambience has blended thus

For many a million years

Ere humans, and their gift of thought,

From beauty, hope had wrought.

Something is lost, something is found

In this solemn, rich cathedral:

In this is the church of our planet is

A grace that has no sound.

—Frank Malley

After Midnight

After midnight

for both of us

in our own time zones,

the separating distance

longer in the darkness

between heavenly bodies,

and I welcome the slide

out of the day

and the distance and

into our spooning dreams,

loving you

like my cat sweeps me

ever more lightly,

finding a thousand ways

to barely touch me

with her tail

—Mark Vian

Tom’s Only Night on the Town

At Halloween’s curfew he takes to the air

`Tis Tom O’ Bones the drinkers all swear

Out of his home from the autumn’s cold ground.

The clink and clack of his joints are the sounds

Thirsty Tom makes as he opens the door

Of the Garden Street Pub, his life’s favorite lair.

Costumed bodies stand drinks all around

And Tom the winner wearing skeleton fare

Makes a scene of great joy and high spirits galore.

Into dark morning false freedom abounds

Revelers enjoying their night on the town.

But too soon Tom’s sated and finally aware

Another year ended, the dawn’s sobering glare

Pointing him homeward – a dry, lonely affair.

But he grins nonetheless, for the secret he shares –

A Halloween hangover needs a year to repair.

—Anthony G. Herles


I found an angel wing in the street one day.

A car had run it over, and a little boy was crying.

—Jennifer Axinn-Weiss

The Sun Is Fierce

I amble droopy from the parking lot

to the front glass doors of the medical center

a man as old as I am white hair and a cane

at the bottom step shivering uncertainly

I ask him if I can help he points to the rail

it’s too hot to touch as if it’s a swearword

I offer my hand his is all muscle

steady him up the first step slowly

a sudden rush two securities flying past me

behind him prop him up and upright

professionals who saw us from behind the glass

I yield the field as I head for the glass

I tell him I know how he feels

his response thank you buddy

I treasure that word


I leave him behind feeling giddy

hep hep in my step a little moment

but something humungous

                                   I helped a stranger

—Tony Howarth

Small Town, Upstate

i’m from

rolling green hills

leaf peepers seek in fall

driving slow

to appreciate

what we take for granted.

i’m from

narrow roads

winding roads

quiet, endless roads

leading somewhere,


i’m from

a single stoplight

which begs the fear

of stopping too long

at an intersection

which is clear

for “go.”

i’m from

a small town, upstate

with a gentle vastness

that swallows.

—Danielle Sweetser

An Accident

At summer’s end,

A gray storm fog

And loud blue sirens

Eclipsed the bridge:

An accident—

I thought about Christmas

And coming home to you.

—Charlotte Tramontana


I went to the quarry

Looking for a proper stone

To put over the remains of the day

But it broke into a hundred pieces,

When I tried to lift it

So I put what was left

In my pocket, to save it

For tomorrow

—Frieda Feldman

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