Two Poems

Lola Haskins

His Poems

Some lie, pins set, in a field of phlox, a living room, the road to the store; the smallest contact and they explode; hence, the poet’s country is full of the limbless.

Others, read without protection, whiten a watcher’s eyes instantly so he spends the rest of his life in snow.

The poet’s readers understand the risks, yet each book he flings into the crowd lands in a pair of eager hands.

How can this be? Is it a trick the poet plays? Who are these readers? What can we do to bring them here?

And the Wide Field

And the wide field’s blank with fog which tilted poles
are crossing, like the tall masts of ships

And on the field’s far side’s a harbor the size of
cupped hands       And if we anchored there

and let the slow sun come down,  the rigging would
protest        faintly        like birds in distant trees,

my hair fall silent before the spreading sky
as rose turned grey then gleaming dark

And if we anchored in that harbor, we’d be only
steps from shore         but our small craft

Needs water        And didn't we know that when we set out those years ago,

past the bridges, and the corn all around?

Lola Haskins's

. . . most recent book is Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2004). She has published six previous books of poems, including Extranjera (Story Line, 1998), and The Rim-Benders (Anhinga, 2001) Ms. Haskins's collaborations include playing the speaking Mata Hari in a ballet of that title for which she wrote the libretto, presenting a concert of her collection Forty-Four Ambitions for the Piano, with composer James Paul Sain and pianist Kevin Sharpe, and participating in a joint exhibit with photographer Diane Farris. She has also read her work on NPR and on BBC radio in England.