Darrell Petska

In the Round strings jump in to the baton’s flick and swish crows chorusing in a linden treean infant cries a baker pounds dough roosters in Shenyang waking as ghost notes murmur on the timpanieat those beans a mother scolds ba-boom fall the drum sticks howitzers discharging thunder crackling over the Empire Statelento now a priest intoning pacem in terris soft waves lapping Mykonos olive leaves whispering to the breezethey don’t want our help have you seen my glasses he doesn’t live here anymore dix euros s'il vous plaîttires screech hyenas harassing a feasting lioness children shrieking on a playground trumpets blaringlet it be let it be she looked just fine on Thursday fresh from the womb and crying $5.98ostinato’s flow the wind the waves wolves on crusted snow performance in the roundsuspirations through pampas grass the humpback’s soaring song partyers singing “American Pie” the wry bassoon commenting Old Man Rocking What is he saying?His words dangle from trees.Shake in the wind.Filter to the ground.Where has he gone?Through plain and forest,across every ocean,distance shining in his eyes.Ask his name. He answerstiger, antelope, dog.Say you are his children.His eyes lift to the sky,watching you sing and glide.Your ant legs marchingring in his ears.Does this mean he can’t knowyou love him? But of that tall shiphe is the mast.Can he differentiate the realfrom what is not?He sails the one Sea,walks the one Earth.Long since has he stoppedanswering foolish questions. Snow Today Into falling snowdivision disappears—car and tree,earth and skyand I conjoined,morning's slow shuffle,the door's soft closure,the creak of snow underfootfading away, soundbecoming dream, silenceinspiring mindfulness. Each snowflake disproves tomorrow,buries memory. This step,this step, this stepfinds me where always I am,wearing snowman shoes. Toward your welcoming hearthsnow whispers my coming.It enters on my clothing,settles to your floor.See how your cat laps it up! Darrell Petska's poetry has appeared in journals such as Muddy River Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Star 82 Review, Verse-Virtual, and Buddhist Poetry Review (see conservancies.wordpress.com). In addition to writing poetry and fiction, he’s tallied a third of a century on the academic staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 40 years as a father (seven years a grandfather), and a half century as a husband.