Reading Hart Crane’s North Labrador in Hot Weather

James Owens


Because the neighbor’s dog

lives in the sort of floating

present—now and now

and now—I have believed

the word eternity means,

his bark is one note

scruffed on the wood fence

over and over

like a series of hard kicks.


Three p.m.’s knees tremble

with the work of holding up

a drained sky.

The crisp lawn suffers

a new attack of fire ants. 


I will an illusion of cold,

swallow iced tea, drowse

in my chair, wake and read

a few more poems.  Wind

throws nets of snow

over a sea cliff.


Seals blink at the white shore

as if the sea gave up

its dead to resurrection—


Seal-bark, splash, clatter of shingle:

they hitch themselves up

in cold and lean toward the world.


Copyright 2007 by the Tipton Poetry Journal.

All rights remain the exclusive property of the individual poet and may not be used without their permission.