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Anthony Hawley

Six poems

“Awhile” — Field Guide for Voices

“We fall down darkness in a line of words”
                           — W.S. Graham


Awhile now
we’ve gone on
brush       bush      tree       trail

It’s mud season
Plenty snow still
runs off             the run-off
makes new

Something’s in my shoe (...)

Monkshood                                 Larkspur
Red           Columbine                  Forget-
Me-Not, first three
of one family —
Hellebore — all especially
the last within
tundra’s reach                   mostly


For hours walking without a sign without
a sentence

Awhile now the coralroot
around our feet
which is to say

My socks got
wet in crossing                                   loudly
the mountain run-off and listen to
the distance

Some time ago
my toes

Brown ground bird black cheek bar yellow throat
Two horned Larks walk
not hop after drinking

shiver, slough off
water I too
dry but first
unlace                           that is to say

to a mind
bred upon

what is certain is
all in the eye’s                             reach
does not



But how long without stopping without a question regarding finish keep at it keep trekking summer yields more forward motion though occasionally snowfields and through them plodding what remains stilled grammar frozen frame the every lens another facet around the person question pressing how long and whether to or not turn back give up on talk not to know if or when to pause after knee-deep steps scrape snow from between boot’s tongue and sock no matter how tightly tied they still allow some season in the step


Winter becomes a mountain
Like walking
Is the water over rocks
Could be a sentence
Abloom a field of new color
Marmots race                whistle
Something lives between the scree I can’t
Comprehend too deeply
The jagged spruce, fir in sight
Not a thunderhead nearby
Avoid prickly brambles pussy-willows
Aren’t as soft as those we sought
When children I’ll tell you about them
Once through this patch


Fork Devil’s

The Frying-


Savage and
Lost Man


Waters named for

shapes or

How deny
such blue


the subtle echo
rock shifts

Language lets
loose a ledge —

Alphabet                                    adrift

beneath broad


Consonants crumble
Cause cliffs’
downward descent

Expression etches
everywhere echo

finds further

Gouged geode
Graveled ground

Human’s itty-bitty

         jostled knocked...

Maybe mind manipulated
numerous northern nooks
on overlooks outside of or
pushed peaks

questioning round rocks
several seconds sideways

Scrambles someone
Should scree

turn to



wandering wayfarers whistling who
where when why
whats whetting


Yodel zeroed-

above below collapsing debris
each finding gorges high

inside jolted knowledge

language lets
loose a ledge —


The limit of talk is the valley’s collapse. The limit of knowledge ends with walking.


Of pollen
an aspersion
scattered squall
funneled across
widened paths
lingers on
shirts shorts
awhile clinging

cotton but
thinner in
its extent

are you
possibly on
my page

already gathered
your remains?

8.                  “song of the allergies”

air carries across
pollen too much

evergreen’s worth
of needles seems a summer
snow —

I stop to blow
my nose again
is running

at altitude
it’s hard...(another of my
to find breath      never mind
a sentence           tree-line
ending well
above eleven thousand
feet give or take

begins tundra-ed
ground there

Live few buds
few who do w/ out
much petal

but I can barely
see let
alone(... —

should seeds scatter
further in field shield and

shelter our kissers from
bared flower

just imagine
another sneeze


but this is all

just a sentence

not a sign

just a walking

not a finish line


so went the song
this land is
the land to bury
division to bury
breath in to be drawn in-


               adjust the lens

Five poems from P(r)etty Sonnets

            “The uselessness of words about this case
             Is obvious”
                      — Laura Riding


The story of lemon meringue is a travesty
The diner out of pie

He’s had little sleep
She says, do you remember the photo

Indian summer, October fair
The one with wind in it

Someone I never met
A man in a felt hat

Carried a browning copy in his wallet
These are the children

I never met, he said, banana cream
Along his moustache

The city is real but not real sadness
Only the lemon of desire is


What better way to get there than rewriting someone else’s biography
The curtains bunched up, the rectangular lamp
Barely showing through the veil
The unfinished letter to a philosopher sitting on the table
Stop taking photos of the home and just get inside the home
All the little Mondrians were once so fascinating
Why and when did we lose interest
In lines for lines’ sake
Now the motorinos
Are making the deliveries
Crisscrossing the metropolis without the slightest regard for spillway
No more talk for hours about the milky windowpanes
No more snacking between meals
Our opportunity to drink all day has passed


The music
Has come to seem relentless
Regicide will not resolve the torrid affair
No extensive spring-cleaning
Row after row
Notes pile up
Like accidental number crunching
Like the mad mad dash to the waterfront
Bereft you go to the Hungarian palm reader
She says on the stage is a plum
There is a short skirt
There is an able actress
Kissing a seamstress
This is not so much music
That you cannot identify yourself, is it


Counting zero
To negative ten
We enter the room
Find two leaves left
The jade trees lost the rest
Our piano its legs and keys
What’s not ended will be
No noun’s left to speak
So please try not to breathe
Keep cloth across your face
As the room evaporates
Catching vowels as they spill
Around our feet enough
To finish one song
Fill a cough


A poem doesn’t do anything
More than a zephyr other than it goes away
With something that was yours
It does a thing, does a jig and slides
A circus of information
Out the body the way bathroom does
There is no kilometer
For the poem because it doesn’t travel
Or it does because no one notices it
Consider this little detritus
Consider it trafficking in the beltway
Of your chambers, consider the vacuum
Poised to steal your superfluous

Anthony Hawley

Anthony Hawley
Photo by Steve Hawley

Anthony Hawley is the author of two chapbooks, Afield (Ugly Duckling Presse)and Vocative (Phylum Press) both published in 2004. He has just finished a Spicer-inspired book length series called ‘P(r)etty Sonnets’. His first full-length collection of poems, ‘The Concerto Form’, is due out from Shearsman Books in March 2006.

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