Two Poems



Major undertaking, Allegro

in the huge distance, and also Allegro

wondering, as if music itself

can wonder, why it wasn’t planted

in the beginning, and why here, now,

exists something like autumn

extreme heat, melted blood

going from key to key in a clearly

sad, somewhat vigorous rhythm,

no instruments, or at least

no metal, no cymbals or symbols, Grave

representing Largo just because it can,

no, not even something like autumn extreme heat,

seasonless, as opposed to a seasonal

hybrid, yes, Adagio or Andante

alone, the distance major, huge

and nowhere in the distance, cold

and the concept of

cold like lips exchanging

motion with a closed mouth and

a closed mouth breaking apart

from lips in a rhythm ending

and beginning eternally gratefully

on a note of minor hope.





Some days, the sun goes down, and something goes wrong.


What? The skin around my eyes

tenses like a muscle,


for a disembodied animal

or vegetable nerve to touch,


for a reservoir

to sink a carved notch, for the knife point

at which pipes under a city

will get lost in their own maze, and some substance

completely resembling tapwater will

come down out of the tap and stop

with a flick of the wrist.


Is it one of those days? Perhaps

inside a cage inside a body, an animal

doesn’t moan at the barred sunlight. Perhaps

above the cage, the dumb stars breathe hard,

and the grass, wherever lit green is,

longs, like a petal (on a table absent from a room)

swept into a cupped hand,

to fall.


What do I know? Life is shades

of one aggrieved, candy-colored mood, some nights,

as the moon goes down

through matter and crux and dark air,

isn’t it? And is it

one of those nights?



Consolidate. Like an animal gathering its flying

everywhere to make materials

to make a nest, consolidate—



is this vegetable or mineral

voice, hard as fire,



What I don’t know, I think,

is telling me that there are times I need not

try not to float

in the intervals between inescapable occurrences.


Other days, the sun goes down.


Douglas Nordfors, originally from Seattle, lives and teaches in Central Virginia. He has published two collections of poetry, “Auras” (2008), and “The Fate Motif” (2013) with Plain View Press in Austin, Texas.

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