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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The River Knew His Name (For Jack Leigh)

So, I wrote and submitted a poem that I wrote last year to the Seersucker Rag, a local quarterly publication that features writers.  They look for all kinds of submissions and when I returned to Savannah last year, I found myself writing a poem a day.  It helped to pass the time and was something to write in the process of settling back in town.  Be sure to pick up a copy and support local awesome!

The poems that suck were the ones where I was talking about how lonely I was.  The ones that were pretty good were the ones that were about the city and the Deep South in general.

The one that I submitted (which is the one that I'm including down below) was inspired after spending an afternoon looking at Jack Leigh photographs.  I've always found a lot of comfort and peace in his photos.  My house growing up always had a few of his books floating around.

I got the email today that the poem was selected and going to be published.  Very exciting!  Here's a copy of the poem below:

"The River Knew His Name (for Jack Leigh)

The coursing, pulsing water met mud,
And faced the trees in grey hues,
The tired boat yawned on the water
As it broke into sunrise.

Johnson had carved the river for thirty years
With exhausted, rich black skin
The nets were useless but
Maybe they’d catch breakfast again.

His deep white eyes were matched in reflection
And all he drinks ripped from him,
Skimmed on a mirror of morning
White wood floated through onyx water.

A salted neck craned through branches
Maybe to see the sun, say goodbye
But how to catch the star while all was rocking?
The world was bobbing to a silent symphony.

Aged fingers crossed into the surface
The tips pierced into darkness
And the life beneath quietly looked on,
Existing as statues do.

Fog held up the hugging trees
A lone fish jumped in the air
At the though of all the promises
Laid out at the beginning

His eyes were closed as the air filled him
Ancient knees bent and racked
The moment was born out of a careful plan
And the crash of water woke the dawn.

He drifted to where water slept
Letting the bubbles trickle to the sky
Here, there was peace, no struggle
Here, he would start again."

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