Pond - John Stanizzi

7.40 a.m.
59 degrees

Pretentious candelabra, the staghorn sumac, and the breeze this morning as
overheard as a whisper in church.a pair of green frogs
noggles the landscape with gulps, and just along the shore tendrils of
diving reed-grass as sleek and smooth as a brushstroke.

8.05 a.m.
72 degrees

Preening and twittering and singing themselves dry, the morning’s
oratory is song – red-winged, goldfinch, yellow warbler, red-belly –
noisy and excited, flying up and down and sideways across, a
doodle of lines in feathers all across the humid gray morning.

7.22 a.m.
69 degrees

Panicky as when they were polliwogs, these new frogs leap and croak,
objecting to my presence; five or ten of these little creatures, frogs for sure now,
numbers still sporting vestigial tails, jump and yelp. Tadpoles gone now, leaving us these tiny frogs
dunking themselves croaking, five, ten, fifty at a time, grousing almost before I get to them.

7.22 a.m.
69 degrees

Pecking the air with their chuck chuck, the grackles worry the trees.
Owl feather floating delicately on the pond. Are you part of the reason for this
noise this morning? Was that you whose wide rump I glimpsed
dexterously wheeling through the thick overgrowth, touching nothing, silently?

John L. Stanizzi is author of the full-length collections: Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, and many others. He has read at venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts Café, and the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Stanizzi coordinated the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition for Young Poets at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT, and is a teaching artist for the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud.  John’s newest collection, Sundowning, will be out later this year with Main Street Mag.  A former New England Poet of the Year, Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.