Westerly Terrace

Il miglior Fabbro


Hey, Old Man –

One thing is clear:

We could not have stood each other,

too unlike spirits to keep converse.

Changing lives, I tarried in your house;

as you may know, if ever

your daemon and my angel parley.


I heard the cadence of the rain you knew,

coming down on the hill between Prospect

and the Little River.

I luxuriated in the falling of your light,

rolled myself up in the redolence

of your rotting leaves.

I shushed and muttered at your ghost,

when I wasn’t over busy with mine.

Man of business, you’d have had no truck

with this willful seeker skeptic,

Johnny-Come-Lately volunteer

intruding in your garden.


In your shadow I walked your walk,

stepped along remembering a certain blackbird,

the first I knew of you.

A good gait you had,

matched like your sartorial habitus

in all weathers, to suit time of day and season,

inward to work, outward home;

its parsing ever after setting the paces

beneath the offbeat pulsing

in the carcasses of your poems.


A little note on this: Half a century ago, when poetry first captured my fancy, Wallace Stevens was one of my favorites. By a strange twist of fate, when going through a mid-life change of direction I was invited to live in the house in the West End of Hartford he’d occupied during the years he worked as an executive for the Hartford Insurance Company for a few months. His spirit still pervaded the house and its surroundings.

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