I give these mornings back to us . . .
fog swirls over the pond, a skein of blackbirds,
a half-acre of iris blooming like stars.
In our garden you stoop to gather rosehips
and teeter on your heels—a strange, dangling
elegy your mother taught you, as too
the wind blows silent bells of white petunias.
I give these mornings back as if we’d shared them,
as if the sun glares on your tan, thatched hat,
the pecan’s warblers warbling. And I give them
in the bee-drunk syllables of regret or
sorrow which make so little sense but press us
like the lips of our forgotten God.
Take. We can live this way.
David Daniel’s book of poems, Seven-Star Bird (Graywolf Press), reviewed here at AGNI Online, led Harold Bloom to call him “an authentic heir to Hart Crane.” The collection won the Larry Levis Prize for the best first or second book of the year. His poems and essays have appeared in A Field Guide to Prose Poetry, AGNI, The Library of America’s Anthology of American Religious Poetry, Connotation Press, The American Poetry Review, Memorious, and elsewhere. He directs the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is creator and producer of Wamfest: The Words and Music Festival, which has recently included Bruce Springsteen, Mark Morris, Robert Pinsky, Paul Muldoon, Talib Kweli, Rosanne Cash, Exene Cervenka, Quincy Troupe, John Doe, Tom Sleigh, Kristin Hersh, Josh Ritter, Peter Carey, Wesley Stace, Alejandro Escovedo, and many others. Wamfest has been celebrated for its progressive arts programming by the National Endowment for the Arts, where you can hear him talk about the festival. Its blog is at wamfest.wordpress.com. Daniel was poetry editor of Ploughshares for more than a decade while teaching at Emerson College. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (updated 4/2016)
David Daniel’s collection, Seven-Star Bird, was reviewed for AGNI Online by David Roderick.