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Poems and a children's book excerpt by Marc Harshman

By Staff reports

Read about Marc Harshman here.

THESE

for Jerry

 

These are not lucky charms. These

are bits of bone and sinew. Home

from the war, he pressed them into my hand.

I said, "thanks," and he walked away. Far

away he had been. Steep valleys,

hot mountains of war, highs

 

  • tolen when the moon was bright
  •  

    and the enemy shy. "See,"

    he once said on leave, "there

    won't be much left of me." I know

    that now, holding his hand in mine,

    charms are not enough. Prayer

     

  • ames names. We try them. One
  •  

    after another. Repeat after each, "Lord,

    have mercy, Lord, Lord . . .  ."

    Names have memories. I wear his now.

    Pray them as if he hears.

     (Forthcoming in the "Anglican Theological Review")

     

    •••

    "Only One"

     

    There may be a million stars

    But there is only one sky.

     

    There may be fifty thousand bees

    But there is only one hive.

     

    There may be five hundred seeds

    But there is only one pumpkin.

     

    [Then the book runs through smaller numbers, 12 to the end, the last 2 stanzas being as follows:]

     

    There may be two ropes

    But there is only one swing.

     

    But the best thing of all

    Is that there is only one me

    And there is only one you.

     

    The opening lines of "Only One" published by Cobblestone/Dutton [division of Penguin USA] in 1993, illustrated by Barbara Garrison. 

     

    •••

    CHECKING THE SPRING

     

    Up from the house, west, a few hundred feet,

    where the ridge hat of poplar, maple,

     

  • weet gum and red haw fills with a dry wind,
  •  

    we force a clutch of bramble,

    wild rose and blackberry,

    and through them slip

    down the hard bank

    of pale grasses

    to the green stones

    and stand

    by the thin, sure sound

    of water, still there, August,

    and running.

     First appeared in "Turning Out the Stones, a chapbook from State Street Press, NY, 1983


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