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Saturday, April 20, 2013


by Connolly Ryan

Image credit: suzym / 123RF Stock Photo

That stillness that fills you
larger than up,
smaller than down,
like circles of ducks
upon circles—micro-replicas
of any inkling
imagined or un-,
awash with motionlessness
and the commotion thereof.

The way the illumined blob
of sunlight elongates
in increments across the lake
is miraculous.
It’s as if God is inside
everything that is outside.

Today in Boston
a pair of bombs
at the Marathon finish-line—
shattered glass, splattered blood--
left three dead, a hundred wounded,
de-limbed and counting—
the city and the terror
of its ways. But here
in Look Park, a beaver
nibbles for decades
on a long twig, rapid twitchy
lovebites creating tiny plosions
in the water, then a bird-blur,
possibly a phoebe,
snags a dragonfly
in the throes of aerial cursive.

News of the blast
creeps through the park,
insinuating its menace
upon the pastoral strollers—
rumors of terror,
homegrown or imported,
possibly of cells, obligingly abound.

But the ducks, the phoebe, the beaver
(who, with a perfect oily sleek flip
vanishes then resurfaces
twenty yards away, new to itself)
and the lake,
with signature resignation,
sustain their modest ecstacy,
wisely oblivious
to the spectacular unkindness
unique to mankind: the only
entity to whom
God and Love
are intangible.

Connolly Ryan was born in Greenwich Village, New York in 1967. He is currently a professor of literature at University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he was thrice a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award. His visceral and witty poetry has been published in various journals including Bateau, Ditch, Umbrella, Citron, Satire, Scythe, Slope, Meat For Tea, Pannax Index, Satire and Old Crow. He is also a multiple Pushcart nominee. He has two finished Manuscripts: Fort Polio and The Uncle Becky Chronicles.