This entry is part 40 of 42 in the series Antiphony: Paul Zweig


I’ve been reading Paul Zweig, and responding to his poems with poems of my own. This is the twenty-fourth poem in the third (“Eternity’s Woods”) section of Zweig’s Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details on this experiment in responsive reading. I’ll remove Zweig’s poems after a week or two to prevent egregious copyright infringement.

The Taking Away
by Paul Zweig

The close-fitting sleepless night,
Everything still: the woodchuck in its hole
Under the rock pile, the apple tree outside my window.

* * * *

Outside In

A night of wind
& the smell of thawed soil,
rustle of nightcrawlers
tugging leaves down
under the earth,
rapid footfalls of rain.
At the woods’ edge,
a constant creaking
& groaning, as if
from doors swinging
loose on their hinges,
which are stiff with rust
from a lifetime in
the open air. I sleep
without dreaming,
wake without waking up.
Two more hairs turn white
according to schedule.
The house shakes
with the effort to keep
from flying apart.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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