Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Here's another poem from John Ahearn. The only reason I'm putting it on the blog is because it's absolutely beautiful. I'm rapidly becoming a big fan of his, as you can guess.


by John Ahearn

The old abrasions still somehow obtain;
the old assertions and the old replies
become less conversation than refrain,
chipped, fragmentary sentences
eroding in the tidal silences
where everything and nothing signifies,
coffee, afternoon, threat of rain.

Will no surrender, yours or mine, suffice?
Can we never hope for thaw, to weather
like the sea’s cupped ivory dice,
wholly factual and unredeemed
until they tumble down spring streams
to lapidary sand, to lie together,
forget the etched exertions of the ice?

Between us is a bowl of polished stones,
trophies of our summers in the light,
mostly quartz, some agate, a few unknowns,
and one frozen scrap of ancient shale
intaglioed by a fish without a tail,
the patterned absence of an anchorite,
house from which the visitant has flown.

Why do we preserve this remnant clay,
these baubles from the necklace of the sea,
if not to hold their million yesterdays,
save the vestige of a winter mountain in
the seaglass sheen, spine of fin,
see our long, burnishing complicity
revealed, like theirs, as we dissolve away?


  1. I love this poem. Thanks for posting it. jta, you are truly talented.
    I sent it to Frank Wilson of Books Inq. as he is a poet and a poetry collector -- he's linked to it.

  2. Well spotted Maxine, I see both Pundy and jta made it to FW's links today - your hand no doubt!

    And she's right jta, talent indeed, Pebbles is a beautiful observation. You ought to become one of the 'blue' gang and get yourself a blog! Pundy talk to your friend....oh no you can't, still making up for lost blogging time. And please slow down, I can hardly keep up with ONE post a day!!

  3. You guys are making me very happy with all this attention, to which I'm quite unaccustomed, aged as I am. Anyway, thank you for all the kind words. It really means something after forty years of almost total non-response from the littles and the bigs, the local papers, people on the train. Of course, that doesn't stop one from doing it, but I feel much less crazy now, thanks to you good people.

  4. Bet you aren't 150 like me, jta, as Minx spotted early on in our acquaintanship!