Elegy #20
by H. Palmer Hall H. Palmer Hall

H. Palmer Hall's most recent books are Into the Thicket (Ink Brush, 2011) and Foreign and Domestic (Turning Point, 2009). His work has appeared in various magazines, from Texas Observer and North American Review to Ascent and Connecticut Review and points in between. He's a librarian at St. Mary's University where he edits Pecan Grove Press.

Robert Frost said it best: Back out of all this now
Too much for us… this "now" and that "then."
Birds, animals, children, all whistling, the cow
Lowing, soft, spiraling moos of content…or not.
All this sings to us, wakes us to whatever comes,
To whatever wants us to do something or what
They feel we should do. A plain directive, couched
In quasi-concealing words and wards. Not his best
Poem, nor best words, yet filled with portentous need.
I prefer "nature's first green is gold" or those snowy
Woods, those promises to keep, those miles to go
Before I sleep, miles and miles. In a buggy with sleds.
We meet like Whitman on the Brooklyn Ferry,
Anticipating past and future, cameradoes,
Desperados, a nation of indigenes, even Texas
In the prompt. So, do we back out or stride forth,
Not too much, no, not at all. The old mother
Still sings. Still rocks us in her cascading cradle.

What do you think? Please send us your comments, including the name of the work you are commenting on.
Permalink to the Amarillo Bay issue containing this work.