BY JAMES WRIGHT
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
James Wright, “A Blessing” from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose. Copyright 1990 by James Wright.
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
My friend, David Wright, published his excellent book of poems, Local Talent, in 2019. The richness of the poems is in David’s keen eye/heart/mind for the distinctly middle American experience. It is also in his command of the musicality of language. While I’m what you might call rhythmically challenged, I have great admiration for subtlety and complexity of the music in Local Talent. It is also filled with David’s wry humor (he’s full of it) which I love. The title of the book, I think, it supposed to be funny, ironic, sad, and hopeful (where else could talent be?) all at the same time.