Nebraska Center for Writers

TIDEWATER
by Eric Hoffman

Breath on nail,
The nerve, wind
On white boat.
Sails, yellow dress,

Salt water grass.
Laundry, palette
Of fabric sunlight
Condensed, river

Of glistening skin
Radiant of all that is
Not the mind accepts,
Open to the air,

The wanting nerve
Without voice,
Tidewater on sand,
Water in tide.


Reprinted with permission
from Threnody
Copyright © 2006
by Eric Hoffman
Lone Willow Press


MONUMENTS
by Eric Hoffman


Heat washes the bright world,
Rain falls in the distinct way rain falls

In summer on marble and grass.
I smile because or despite exhaustion

From your countless peculiarities,
Your love of cemeteries least among them.

In your laughter distances recede
Until at last your laughter fades,

Its disappearance an aspect of perfection.
Small ratios of understanding

Do not have the weight of monuments
In grass. It is rather the way grass bends

Beneath the weight or light succumbs,
Grown dark and lush in summer rain.

Reprinted with permission
from Threnody
Copyright © 2006
by Eric Hoffman
Lone Willow P


CIRCLE
by Eric Hoffman

Passion's
Fulfillment is ruin,
Heaven won

By renunciation.
Chagallís accordion
And yellow stars

In blue night,
Dark dress,
Tumble of shoes,

Hand in hand.
They have chosen
Their punishment

As Aucassin for Nicolette:
Encircled arms
And a floating wind.

Reprinted with permission
from Threnody
Copyright © 2006
by Eric Hoffman
Lone Willow P


BOARDWALK
by Eric Hoffman

Refuse below Ferris wheel,
Tumbling plastic bag on beach,
Young love in the weeds,
Cigarette smoke, white shirt
Stained with lipstick.

City dwellers, salt hair,
Wet dress, sea waves,
Hand-carved horses and band organ.
A man remembers Brooklyn, 1945,
Her smile, the delicate park.

Reprinted with permission
from Threnody
Copyright © 2006
by Eric Hoffman
Lone Willow P


PERENNIAL
by Eric Hoffman

I found the iris pressed inside a book
Filled with fading words in a language
Neither of us understood, the same iris
I gave you and you kept in your hair

Before its blossom began to wither,
Its whisperish purple turned hollow black.
How welcome it is to find the flower
Blooming again always inside this book

I have never read yet understand, simply
By its weight. It is good to know
Some things are perennial; regardless
Of weather, and no matter how swiftly

They flourish, the strong buds cluster,
Eager to effloresce. We can wear them
Easy as gestures, as small garlands
Of tears prospering in our eyes.

Reprinted with permission
from Threnody
Copyright © 2006
by Eric Hoffman
Lonewillow P


Threnody, a collection of poems by Eric Hoffman is now available. 32 pages, perfect bound. Send $10 ($8 +$2 shipping) via check, money order payable to Eric Hoffman, 22 Vincent Street, West Hartford, CT 06119. Also available from Lone Willow Press, Things Like This Happen All the Time. Lone Willow Press, PO Box 31647, Omaha, NE 68131, lonewillowpress@aol.com


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