4 poems

Peter Quartermain

And I sit here there

is no moon tonight. The clouds

are not snow clouds. The air

is not freezing and the ground

stays moist. The roads tomorrow

will be good.

Perhaps for once

I will not be

bad tempered in the morning

feeling rushed on the way to class

How strange that routines which

I at any rate affect to despise

hold my


in channel, focussed is what I mean,

or funnelled so – and not indwelling only.


who used to say he hated habit

spend so much time now learning

how to break or change one

or two or three

and at the same time learn

to wear a

pseudo-monk’s – which is appropriate

is it not

for a lay-person


When I lean back

wood shades my right

eye through the window

the leaves still the noise of

a drill from the town down

below that the sound of a man

as he clears out the pond

by the door a truck starts

goes away

Sun blurs my lash catches

cold fire the heat of my hand

like love goes through the plashy fen

vole’s questing feathered feet

to type what right

here I can never see

but feel

No damn time at all for anythink.

but a mild winter

for a change

and I anticipate the spring

The daffodils bloom in sunny spots,

yet are hardly visible as green

in the shade


are just about over the trees

begin not to bud

but to

burgeon into minuscule green leafs

where browns still predominate

much rain

some wind.

Sweet Talk

(in lieu of a valentine)

for Meredith

Sugar it says on the box

Corn sugar is this

Corn starch what little girls

are made of all these hearts

their money back

guarantee this box chock full

fat love bright candies taste

like cardboard with the name

Life Brand all sweetened

artificial flavours send

the same message

no matter what the words

Kiss Me says one Call home

or ILU there must be something

here for you and me

and as I search I wonder

something for everyone

mixed messages mixed matter

does Fax Home pink on blue

mean UR Mine

nestled beneath Go Home

comfort the lonely hearts

which say hard red on white

two words two lines Home

Sick for you and me share one

heart here says And