Jan/Feb 2003 Poetry

Two Poems

by Stephen Newton

Photo-Art by Kristen Merola


Just Beyond the Distant Trees

Just beyond the distant trees
where the geese disappear
at the end of the day
where orange smears
the sky at sunset

just over the tree-line
where Lassie runs
after the credits are finished
Timmy tucked into bed
Grandpa and June Lockhart
finished with the dishes
barn door closed for the night

that place just over the tree-line
that Dorothy sang about
in her own way
but every night it is here
your house doesn't have to fly
into the sky to get there

just look out the window
over the trees where the sky is orange
and the geese are flying
that's the spot where
Lassie is standing on the hill
above the farm in the evening

she is standing there still every night
even as I write these lines
she is there where the sky is orange
and the kitchen lights are always on
the place she goes to on the hill
when the show is over


It Comes Back to the Senses

It comes back to the senses
the way that memory works
this is where the past lives not
in some intellectual recollection

or recreation of events that
become just another story no
the past is living in the world of the
senses the one where the wind

is cold against your ears and
the snow is crunching under your
boots as you drag your sled home
across the frozen fields the ones

that are now growing dark at the
edges filled with shadows and empty
sound the kind that fills big distances
and crosses hillsides the past is

waiting for the garage door to lift
and the warmth and smells of evening
to hit the night air while you unbuckle
your boots the black ones and leave

them outside while clouds glide
over the trees in front of the moon
there was no thinking here just walking
sledding through the cold there are

no ideas to remember just the cold
and snow the trees and sky the
warmth of the bath popcorn in
pajamas in front of the TV and sleep

while ice falls in the woods breaking
branches in the night the roar of the
wind above the snow and cold
the distant sound in the dark of the

woods the whistle of the cold hills
branches against the clouds and moon
hill after hill receding away from
the world of parents and children this

is the place of wolves and crows
the awakening of the dream in the
dark this is what comes after the sun
goes away this is what is left


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