Two Poems – Don Hogle
At the Precise Moment of the Solstice
Lie in a wheelbarrow like a sack of potatoes,
clumps of earth still clinging to your plump,
moist body – you’ve been buried so long,
you still smell of soil – and let your head
dangle over the front edge of the barrow,
so you can see both the river and the sky,
the clouds superimposed on the summer’s
turquoise phytoplankton bloom.
You will need someone to push you across
the slatted, wooden bridge; and as they do,
the reflected clouds will seem to be in motion;
you will stream like a satellite in its orbit
above the Bosphorus, until you reach the other
side, where someone else awaits you.
I might have glanced at the sun a half-second
too long, because when I closed my eyes,
a spot appeared on the underside of my eyelid
in the shape of Uzbekistan – aquamarine with
a rainbow aura of yellow, orange-red and green.
I’ve seen black beetles with the same iridescence
traverse the flat, bleached arm of an Adirondack
chair, as though on the Silk Road from Chengdu
to Samarkand, and I imagine Marco Polo
in a mandarin’s robe he picked up in China,
striding across the Rialto like an exotic bug:
from behind a grocer’s market cart, a small boy
hurls a rotten orange at the strange, robed figure,
never having witnessed a wonder before.
Don Hogle’s poetry has appeared recently in Apalachee Review, Carolina Quarterly, Chautauqua, Curlew Quarterly, The Inquisitive Eater (The New School), South Florida Poetry Journal, and A3 Review and Shooter in the U.K. Among other awards, he won First Prize in the 2016 Hayden’s Ferry Review poetry contest and received an Honorable Mention for the 2018 E. E. Cummings Prize from the New England Poetry Club. He lives in Manhattan. www.donhoglepoet.com