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Peter Gow  (email) Dedham, Massachusetts


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


January, 2009

Ailanthus sprout in the dark seam
between stoop and walk:
You will grow,
feed on concrete,
suck protein from
rusting reinforcing wire.

In time your trunk will open a crevasse;
the steps, a broken pyramid leaning inward,
will press upon the house,
the aggressive snuggle of a willful child.

Silhouetted stairways will open
along the brick foundation. Rivulets
of martian dust will smear the whitewash
nd pile up below, hills ready-made
for ants, who will climb
the pitted face, tiny mountaineers.

One day the house itself, sighing,
will slump from its sill, tumble ever so gently
down the hillside, into the river below
like an origami box in the wind.


Night sky white:
fills me with cold fright.

Night sky red:
visions of a city dead.

Night sky black:
the end,
no turning back.

We were not comely
nor skilled in all the
arts of hunt or dance
Cowering in our huts
outside the village fence
coaxing from the ground such
meagerness as could provide
each generation with
enough, no more,
or urge from some clan
pathetic as our own a mate
and so sustain the sorry cycle
All day we argued
picked at one another
making words
invoking laws
creators gods
anything by whose power
we could imagine
ourselves redeemed
In time our words leached
out our walls
and poisoned
their paradise
driving them
to beg from us clarity
to justify their fear and
draw courage from their
own reflected hopes
And so we sanctified
their terrors and ordained
a world of what we told them
to call love