From the archives – The Cabin by Ed Granger

The Cabin

Skip down the ladder from the loft
where yesterday’s last feverish kiss
of heat mothered you overnight.
Wrench open the stove door screeching
like an old iron safe, embers banked
in one corner like dreams awaiting
their next breath. You’re here, dead center
of nowhere, Nova Scotia. You came expecting
insight of some kind. You were mistaken.
The molten seethe of pine logs as they snap
latent sap up the black iron pipe
back into these baffling woods
tells you nothing. Dreams of your father
alive again, upstairs, shaving,
have followed you here. Of course
you told him you loved him,
even through purple lesions as he
whispered something about a Jesus
he’d never believed in. Feed brittle bits
of moss to the feeble orange glow, scraped
from the roof so they won’t claim renegade
sparks. Finesse the vents for a sense
of control. Your coffee is barely potable.
Your father was rarely approachable.
Lace up your boots, head out. Your father
was killed because he tried to pound
a square-peg self into this life until
his round-peg 9-to-5 metastasized. You
came here seeking liberation, found
this new routine. Today, maybe hike
to the logging camp where saws
weep dry crocodile tears. Stay available.
Reconcile yourself to this place.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, May 29, 2017 — by Ed Granger

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Critique by Ed Granger

Critique

Turning apples in my palm to test
for uniformity of firmness thumb
identifying sponge or divot that says
rot says fine for pie or dumplings not
the glass bowl on the kitchen table
meant for plucking after school
eye weighing shape weighing sheen
releasing three to roll down-slope
for each oblong deemed whole and fit
for snacking orchards trucked east
from Washington through days-long
jolt and shudder the chance of bruise
or bug scar that means the dumpster
behind the store every blemish duly
noted beak-slit flat spot flyspeck
the slow-healing cut on one knuckle.

by Ed Granger

Editor’s Note: This poem’s direct imagery and lack of punctuation underscores the fleeting thought-like narrative. This poem is every apple ever grown and picked and eaten.

The Cabin by Ed Granger

The Cabin

Skip down the ladder from the loft
where yesterday’s last feverish kiss
of heat mothered you overnight.
Wrench open the stove door screeching
like an old iron safe, embers banked
in one corner like dreams awaiting
their next breath. You’re here, dead center
of nowhere, Nova Scotia. You came expecting
insight of some kind. You were mistaken.
The molten seethe of pine logs as they snap
latent sap up the black iron pipe
back into these baffling woods
tells you nothing. Dreams of your father
alive again, upstairs, shaving,
have followed you here. Of course
you told him you loved him,
even through purple lesions as he
whispered something about a Jesus
he’d never believed in. Feed brittle bits
of moss to the feeble orange glow, scraped
from the roof so they won’t claim renegade
sparks. Finesse the vents for a sense
of control. Your coffee is barely potable.
Your father was rarely approachable.
Lace up your boots, head out. Your father
was killed because he tried to pound
a square-peg self into this life until
his round-peg 9-to-5 metastasized. You
came here seeking liberation, found
this new routine. Today, maybe hike
to the logging camp where saws
weep dry crocodile tears. Stay available.
Reconcile yourself to this place.

by Ed Granger

Editor’s Note: Sometimes a memorial offers one a glimpse into one’s own life. This poem speaks of a search for insight that is often unattainable.

Strong Pastoral by Ed Granger

Strong Pastoral

Field-reek of pig shit, hen shit, any shit
no less pungent for anonymity
as to phylum, genus, species, feces
laurel-strewn by horses adding to it
as they lug the steel disc picturesquely
across brown hills that dip and heave like guts
trodden by men who dampen in man sweat
that trickles into creeks that feed the sea.

Thus from shit and armpits are the seas fed.
And the multitudes who insist on more
and cheaper plus convenience and go forth
to multiply and buy their daily bread.
And the seas return what they’ve been given:
salt-sting and the dead-things stink of heaven.

by Ed Granger

Editor’s Note: Some sonnets do better with slant-rhyme and imperfect meter. The volta at the end of this poem is, however, quite on point.