Current Issue        Archives        Submissions        Books        Coming Soon        Contact


Peter Gow  (email)


About the Poet:

Peter Gow is a teacher and writer residing in Dedham, Massachusetts. His poetry has been published in Red Owl, Tickleace, Sahara, First Thought, Adirondack Review, and Riverbed Haiku.  He is the author of The Watery Realm (Woodenboat Publishing, 2006), a series of meditations on the inspirational power of bodies of water.





A file of sycamores, three feet thick,

rising serene, flanked by a curling chain-link fence

and a rusting factory wall.


What builderıs eye saw their necessity,

planted them along a dusty, rutted track

as bricklayers on scaffolds turned from their work‹

cutting and tamping each red loaf,

warm in the summer sun, into a graceful fan

above vast windows‹and longed for just a drink

of water from the tubs the planters down below

upended at each saplingıs base?


How many generations felt their shade

on late afternoons of summer days too long at work,

their labors ended and the homeward march begun?

Or felt a chill as their branches blocked the morning sun,

lined up to shuffle through the broad white doors

and take their places at machines, oiled and lacquered,

whose pinstripe filigrees evoked some memory

of their morningıs walk beneath those trees?


What unknown reservoirs beneath

that landscape of failed enterprise have nourished them?

They take no pride of place nor purpose;

they are not survivors, not symbols.

They are simply there.



The Picture Man


The picture man emerges from the past

with boxes of old slides to locate

the heart of you. He gives you what you were,

what those who are you now were once:

joyous, tired, imagining no time beyond;

not today, certainly.


The picture man brings the vision up for you

to contemplate. A certain something about the eyes,

a gaze drifting behind the camera,

past the photographer, to an instant whose meaning

is not quite grasped and then is lost until

today reminds you.


The picture man doesnıt mean to. He only comes

to give you a glimpse into the past, a view

of where you were when. But still, he watches you.

He sees your eagerness, your pain.

He knows what you see and what you want but

cannot have, today.



Glimpsed From the Train


At the edge of the roof

behind the false front

of the second-hand store:


A wool-capped man,

tool poised to shape a brick

to fill timeıs crenellation.


Autumn, the light too perfect by half.

The inlet stream that splits the town

reflects a sky of deathless blue,

unnoticed, unwatched.

The scene frozen,

complete and sharp.


Does the hammer fall,

or the water flow?