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Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 09:28 pm

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document ufopoem  #2
(with apologies to jerome kern and otto harbach)
they asked me how I knew what I saw was true-oo-oo —
I replied with sighs I believe my eyes wal-mart in the skies —

they said some day you’ll find that your eyes are bli-i-i-ind humbly I replied something here inside cannot be denied
so I chaffed and so I gaily laughed it was not toys-r-us were it costco circuit city barnes & noble mores the pity would I make —
this —
no, here in texas we stand by what we see-ee-ee ’twas football field in size ringed with ruby eyes wal-mart in the skies
© Jacqueline Jackson 2008

There’s a world of great interest and significance right under our feet, but most of us don’t think to look down. We spend most of our time peering off into the future, speculating on how we will deal with whatever is coming our way. Or dwelling on the past. Here Ed Ochester stops in the middle of life to look down.

What the Frost Casts Up
A crown of handmade nails, as though there were a house here once, burned, where we’ve gardened for fifteen years; the ceramic top of an ancient fuse; this spring the tiny head of a plastic doll —
not much compared to what they find in England, where every now and then a coin of the Roman emperors, Severus or Constantius, works its way up, but something, as though nothing we’ve ever touched wants to stay in the earth, the patient artifacts waiting, having been lost or cast away, as though they couldn’t bear the parting, or because they are the only messengers from lives that were important once, waiting for the power of the frost to move them to the mercy of our hands.

Poem copyright © 2001 by Ed Ochester. Reprinted from Unreconstructed: Poems Selected and New by Ed Ochester (Autumn House Press, 2007). American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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