I haven’t updated this site in a while, but I thought I’d let you know that my poetry has been published in the last three issues of The Lyric (summer 2020, fall 2020 & spring 2021), a 100-year-old poetry journal out of Vermont. Sadly, the poems are only available in the hard copy magazine, not online. This is a link to the main website if you’d like to order a copy.
In the meantime, I’m going to reprint the six poems over the next three posts, beginning with my pieces from the summer 2020 issue. The poems from that issue are “Night Chorus” and “Father Fears.”
By Rob Crisell
Inside the fountain’s hedge, a thousand frogs
Flood midnight in infinite iambic song.
The heavy storms sowed them like dragon’s teeth.
And now, slime-green soldiers leap from the soil
To flabbergast their enemies and lovers,
With juddering harmonies, resounding
Belches that rattle bedroom windowpanes,
And chirps high-pitched enough to make dogs wince.
An apparition sweeps across the moon,
Alighting on the fountain, its wings spread wide.
All sounds cease as summoned silence, quickening
And rising out of the writhing earth, unwinds
Its velvet limbs and mossy trunk, bestriding
House and garden, humankind and universe—
A god of night, a dream colossus, watchman.
A bullfrog’s bass note interrupts the spell.
The spirit’s gone. The Earth erupts again.
By Rob Crisell
He takes up arms against his father’s reign;
Rejects the olive branch and seeks out wars.
With marksman’s eye he conquers new terrain;
The friends he once held dear he now abhors.
I give offense because I represent
The foe he dreads he may or may not be.
Behind his walls he hurls his discontent.
He will define himself away from me.
But all my ships are burned—the siege goes on.
I scan the barricades for gaps or flaws;
Above the parapets I look for dawn;
I search for firelight through portcullis jaws.
My father, too, laid siege on me for years.
His triumph soothes his grown son’s father fears.