Poem-a-Day: Michael Baldwin

Happy Easter to those of you celebrating it, and Happy Sunday In Early Spring if you aren’t. One thing I’ve noticed during our stay-at-home order is that more people than ever are hanging out on their front lawns and visiting, usually from a physical distance, with their neighbors. That is not a bad thing, generally, and I hope it continues even after all this pseudo-quarantine has ended.

(I am of course speaking about people who are not sick. For those who do need actual quarantine, please please please please please do stay inside and get well. Then we’ll happily see you out on the lawn!)

Today’s poem is from Mutabilis Press poet Michael Baldwin. (I think the tone goes a little beyond the usual pandemic intimacy.) It’s a marvelous rondel.


Night Upon the Lawn

Night, now somnambulant on the lawn,
curries other senses to this scene.
The grass retains the redolence of green,
and the summer feel of softness like a faun.

Cricket cries enchant this ear they fall upon.
It could be hunger, love, or fear they mean,
when night is somnambulant on the lawn
and curries other senses to this scene.

The Moon has kissed the Earth and drawn
exhalant mists, luminous souls to sheen,
so you and I may in secret here convene.
I’ll know the touch and taste of you till dawn,
with night somnambulant on the lawn
to curry other senses to this scene.


Go to this month’s first Poem-A-Day to learn how to participate in a game as part of this year’s series. You can have just a little involvement or go all the way and write a cento. I hope you’ll join in!


Michael Baldwin is a native of Fort Worth, TX, and may be descended from the Lakota mystic warrior, Crazy Horse. He holds a BA in Political Science and Master’s degrees in Library Science and Public Administration. Now retired from a career as a library administrator and professor of American Government, Baldwin is published extensively in literary journals and anthologies. His poetry was featured on the national radio program The Romantic Hours, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He won the Violet Newton Prize, 2000, for the poem, Love Drunk Lunar Eclipse, won the Eakin Manuscript award, 2011 for his poetry book, Scapes, and won the Morris Memorial Chapbook Award, 2012, for Counting Backward From Infinity. His book, The Quantum Uncertainty of Love (Shanti Arts Press, 2019) was a National Book Award nominee. Mr. Baldwin has also published a mystery thriller, Murder Music, and 4 collections of science-fiction short stories, a children’s science/adventure book, Space Cat, and a book of flash plays, A Few Bricks Shy Of A Chevrolet. Mr. Baldwin resides in Benbrook, TX. Visit his website: www.jmbaldwin.com

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