Two Poems by Nancy Takacs

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New Year Poem

What nourishes the violets
before they tremble
open? What brushes
a burrowing snake,
the whittled secrets
on its tail? What kick
do we get from a pear
that balms us?
What is this tidy sienna
when we’ve requested
a fire-engine of geranium
and penstemon? What
sweeps the mountain
like a fickle sponge?
Who blames a circus
of cirrus? What is serious?
What beetle wanders
in this necklace?
What needs some ochre
in every ghost town?
What blossom balances
in a hollow ear?
What wrong tides
have loved us?
What moon
in the crabapple
has loved us?
What eye has held us?

 

 

Eating at the Pier

A scallop has two hundred eyes, and here I am
sticking a fork into one, my tongue

running over the soft groove where the cook
pulled the ligament, as I eye the serene green

backs of the Apostle Islands, hear what sounds like
a whooping crane. Some of us have guided cranes

with an ultralight a thousand miles back to their nests.
Sometimes we can be earnest in saving animals,

for even one to have babies. We recognize wildness
though not usually in ourselves. There are no verses

here for man or woman who’s boiled a live lobster.
Tonight the sky is so clear it will soon be irised with stars,

and we’ll immediately think of heaven, of eyes.
We’re civilized. Eyes watch us from the sky,

the tanks, the deep. I swallow another scallop,
maybe the last eyes I will ever eat.

 

  

 

Nancy TakacsThese poems appear in Nancy Takacs’s new book Dearest Water, forthcoming in early 2022 from Mayapple Press. She has lived in the high-desert town of Wellington, Utah for many years, and spends time summers in Bayfield, Wisconsin, near the Apostle Island National Lakeshore,

Read additional poetry by Nancy Takacs appearing in Terrain.org: two Letter to America poems, two poems, and two poems.

Header photo by Zhu Bing, courtesy Pixabay.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.