Poem of the Week, by Mike White

IMG_0696A few years ago, from my front porch, I watched an enormous, dark turtle labor its way across Emerson Avenue. It was winter. Snow and ice and slush. A giant turtle? Then the scene resolved itself; the turtle was not a turtle but an old man who had fallen and was trying to crawl to the curb.

I ran out and helped him up and got his walker securely situated. He refused my offer of a ride and carried on down the sidewalk. Sometimes the world turns itself inside out for a few seconds and you stand there entirely confounded. All you can do is wait, and wonder, and let yourself be amazed.


Wind, by Mike White

Not a remarkable wind. 
So when the bistro’s patio umbrella 
blew suddenly free and pitched 
into the middle of the road, 
it put a stop to the afternoon. 

Something white and amazing 
was blocking the way. 

A waiter in a clean apron 
appeared, not quite 
certain, shielding his eyes, wary 
of our rumbling engines. 

He knelt in the hot road, 
making two figures in white, one 
leaning over the sprawled, 
broken shape of the other, 
creaturely, great-winged, 
and now so carefully gathered in.




For more information about Mike White, please check out his website.

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Poem of the Week, by Mike White

IMG_E4417At a museum yesterday I sat and stared at this painting. It transported me to a world with a wooden school desk and a clock ticking on the wall. The hot waxy smell of melted crayons. Balloons in a summer rain sinking slowly to the ground. A miniature wooden circus in a clearing in the woods. Indistinct voices in the distance playing some kind of game.

Looking at the painting was like looking through a scrim at a dreamy, long-ago childhood I may have lived or may have imagined living. When I left the museum I thought of the below poem by Mike White, a poem I recite to myself pretty much every day.


Alley in Winter, by Mike White 

Let the work
of art be

as the fire

escape is

dazzled in ice
after the fire



For more information about poet Mike White, please click here,

For more information about painter Sam Francis, please click here.



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