Daniel Lusk – Suite Bergamasque

Lusk LE P&W February 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2024.

Suite Bergamasque, poems by Daniel Lusk.

Suite Bergamasque

“Love’s asymmetry is true./They never think of you.”
Susan Stewart, “Lavinium”

Excitement: flurry of rain.
Great trees—beeches, oaks—rowing
against the ocean of the wind.

Willows weeping and flailing
at the furrowed grasses. Rabbits cower
in their burrows, humming Turkish
moonlight to their young.

Old poet:
Where are the women I used
to dream about when they were real?

Where now the hat I felt defined
my youthful ambitions abroad

afloat betwixt the cobbled shore
and ship beside the ferry gangway
at Calais a sad grey thing

neither coming nor going
and only moments ago
upon my very head.

What did we know of coelacanths
or children of the Raj?
Trying to employ the principle

of ikebana in our attempts at love.

Sweat Equity

For her it may have begun
as conquest, achieved
by simply taking off her dress.

For me, I don’t know.
Maybe at the outset, pure wonder.

She asked might I be the 500 mule caravans
along her thighs, the waves crashing
when she lay back against the pillows.

This salt that remains on the skin
when moisture has evaporated.
These tears, from the sea inside.

First Anniversary Poem

Some wanted
the three wedding cups
explained so I said:

this is the cup of plenty
and in my mind handed it
first to her and then to him

this is the cup
of want
to him first and then her

the third is what you make
of your life

and they poured together
into that cup and drank
and drank again three times.

Now I can tell you
for this meaning has come to me.

© Daniel Lusk

Daniel Lusk is author of eight poetry collections and other books, most recently Every Slow Thing, poetry (Kelsay Books 2022) and Farthings, eBook (Yavanika Press 2022). Well-known for his teaching and widely published in literary journals, his genre-bending essay, “Bomb” (New Letters) was awarded a Pushcart Prize. In previous decades he has been variously wedding celebrant, singer and groom. Native of the prairie Midwest and also a former commentator on books for NPR, Daniel is married to Irish poet Angela Patten. They live in Vermont USA.

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