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Some Older American Poets Borders Bookstore, White Plains, NY
Tired of the accomplished young men
and the accomplished young women,
their neat cerebral arcs and sphinctral circles,
their impeccable chic, their sudden precocious surge,
their claims to be named front-runner,
I have turned to the ageing poets – the marathon men,
the marathon women – the ones who breasted the tape
and simply ran on, establishing their own distance.
Home after another funeral they walk by the pond
with a sense of trees thinning and cold in the air,
yet thrill to the dog's passionate slapstick,
his candid arse-up in the debris of last year's storms.
You sprightly mortals, you rowdies at death's door,
for whom the last moment is not too late to begin!
I can't get enough of you, bright-eyed and poetry mad
in the fields next to the cemetery, where you drop to your knees
before the first flower in the world, where you lift your heads
to that bare cry among brambles, the original bird.