Poem-A-Day 2019: Martin Elster

At the start of this month, I was posting these Poems-A-Day in the evenings because my days were so busy with school/work that evening was the only time I could sit down and write these blog posts. And now, some days (like Monday through Friday) that’s still true.

But I’ve also found that I genuinely prefer doing these posts in the evenings, and so maybe that will continue. I like settling down after the rest of the household has settled down (enough, anyway) and just resting with these poems, unhurried, reveling in the noble fiction that this is the only thing I have left to do before bedtime.

I earnestly look forward to the time in my life when that noble fiction might be true.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep settling into a poem each evening and sharing it with you.

That quietness, that take-a-breath-and-relax-for-a-moment feeling, is the same kind of settling in I feel when I read this wonderful poem, filled with music, by Martin Elster.

The Pigeons
 
Close by the bridge, they javelin
the frosty blue. Flashing, fading,
dipping, climbing, as if to win
the Bird Olympics, emulating
their wild forebears, forever together,
bonded by the sturdy tether
 
of kinship. The townsfolk dare not bustle
about in gales. They’re all shut in
like rabbits in their huts. The rustle
of remnant leaves and twigs is a thin
and bony xylophone. The flocking
aces wheel round and round the walking
 
man on the bridge, who watches each bird
click with the cloud in euphoric flight.
Strolling alone, for a moment cured
of the whiteness under the frigid light
of sunset, he can’t help but stare
as spirits soar and fade and flare.
 
***
 
Martin Elster is a percussionist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Autumn Sky, Better Than Starbucks, Cahoodaloodaling, Poetry Quaterly, The Flea, The Road Not Taken, and in various anthologies, includingTaking Turns: Sonnets from Eratosphere, The 2012 and 2015 Rhysling Anthologies, New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan, Poems for a Liminal Age, and the Potcake Chapbooks. Honors include co-winner of Rhymezone’s 2016 poetry contest, winner of the Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition 2014, third place in the SFPA’s 2015 poetry contest, and three Pushcart nominations.
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