I’m pleased to start off A Poet a Day with two poems by Peter Sears, “Time of Mud” and “We Can Help Each Other.”
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE POEMS
“Time of Mud” feels very much like April to me (and, in fact, takes us into an April day). It first appeared in the chapbook, ICEHOUSE BEACH, and later in Peter’s first full-length collection, TOUR. The poem also appeared in the literary magazine, Field.
“We Can Help Each Other” has a fantastic darkness to it, yet it’s delivered in a very playful, almost comical fashion. It appears in his most recent collection, GREEN DIVER. One of Peter’s greatest gifts as a writer is the ability to access something quite deep and meaningful through the right mix of humor and a little absurdity.
I hope you enjoy them both.
Time of Mud
The land bloats on the rain. Roads split. All things
loose are shed. Trucks park on planks, mailboxes move.
Up mountains the mud goes, colors up the mountains.
The hope is wind, March wind that gets in under
clouds. April and still no wind. Night rain falls
on the rain of the day clattering. Walk the house,
puff up windows, I’m out the front door with a howl
and the dogs sprawl the mud. On to the field
falling in and stuck crooked. I take off my boots,
take off everything, slide down a bank feet up, ride
it again. The smoothed run shines. My mud body
shines. I make a mud woman. Give her light grasses,
sail her on the mud stream, float her down
into woods. She rolls in shadows and the rain
sounds in the trees like a delicate eating. I catch
a fleck of mud on my tongue. I’m crying on my tongue.
We Can Help Each Other
See, I remember you said your darkness
was waking you up at night and not letting you
go back to sleep. And I want to hear
more about your darkness, really.
I can help you. We can help each other.
Why don’t you ask me about my darkness?
You know I want you to. So let me
tell you again: I’m driving along
when darkness shoots up in front
of me as if the hood of my car
flew up in front of the windshield.
In broad daylight, yes, the hood of my car.
I scream, it goes away, just like that.
But if it comes back, what do I do?
A Poet a Day is a month-long celebration of poets and poetry, in honor of National Poetry Month. Writers reserve all rights to their work, and all work appears with their permission.