Two Poems by Raymond Luczak
On Docks Off Eagle Harbor
In the east, the moon rises
a contained ball of flame.
Winds surf the anxious waves
and around the lonely docks.
Unfamiliar stars tip their toes
in the vast lake of night.
Stale clouds coat the lighthouse
blinking its tired pulse.
The moon arches even higher
on the ladder with each minute.
The north leaks a faint light,
an unsettling of ghosts long past.
Isle Royale is a shadow,
trees unshaven in the swath.
Sprinkles of water thunder
across the stiffened benches.
Shedding its residue, the moon
sails clean-white on high.
Days of white don’t seem so pure anymore.
They linger like Scrooge’s little fingers
that just won’t stop tapping on your shoulder,
reminding you there’s still a death sentence.
Your house is a prison of unpaid debts.
Then comes a cardinal hopping about,
its sharp feathers startling like spurts of blood.
Puddles of grass congregate in protest.
Your heart picks up an extra beat, a lilt.
You open the window for a quick waft,
but roars of chill rush in, a pipe organ
echoing in the chapel of last hopes.
Ice-covered leaves sway like lynched bodies.
You’re next. Spring hasn’t got a single prayer.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Titles include This Way to the Acorns (Handtype Press) and Mute (A Midsummer Night’s Press). His work has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (www.raymondluczak.com)