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Sample Poems by Mark Robinson


Darkening, darkening, darkening
night. I take my sleep like a drowning
diver: sighing, sinking, choking.

My daughter accepts it like
only a child can. Using my belly
to rest her head, then the crook

where my knee bends, before
finally resting, her head
on my shoulder, her mouth to my ear

as if waiting, trying to remember
a secret she was making up.
The breeze lifts through green tender

leaves, an exhale, her defeated sigh,
whisper suspended in the darkening night.

Imagination at Midnight


That white- blossoming
wonder might be an apple tree
if not for the absence of the sweet fruit.

In any case, its brilliance
lasts only an hour every April
before its petals are spring's first vagabonds
and the softer flora of summer takes its place.


Sometimes after dusk, I wonder
how long it took a seedling
to fall into the neighbor's yard,

grab hold of the wet soil
and burst wildly upward.

Its uppermost branches fasten to the wind---
a never-before voice,
present and inquisitive,

breathing midnight's echo
night after night after night.


Two evergreens in the backyard,
bride and groom, side by side,
the taller one on the right, watching

nobly over his partner. Together
they are a single dark silhouette,
combining to break up the sky

roots intertwined,
married to nightfall.

The Motion Of Being

Music, we born forget,
Is a streaming rhythm, a beating flood
A waterfall of flowing blood
From a larger heart.

Eyes unopened, breath unformed
But limbs, in fluid...move
That dance-- there must be dancing!
Still buried in the womb.

Wrong Sky

Verse, like a cat, paws at the door
trying to find a loose thread
in the fabric of time

A place to slip out
and into the world.

Tonight, that rare blood-orange
moon, neglected disc of wisdom.

Me, trying to plot the coordinates
of my dreams, looking in the wrong sky
night after night.

Mountainside in September

Up here you can catch
at just that delicate moment
the perfect brilliance of bright yellow Aspen leaves
dotting the deep evergreen mountainside.

In a long white coat, a faceless surgeon
explains the fiery spotting on a scan of my lungs
and a plan for numbing my body
enough to cut into the healthy flesh
to remove the ravishing pits.

My chest glowing coals, I celebrate those colors
that overtake summer's shiny green leaves:
the yellows, the oranges
and the reds that must drop soon
lest their fluid freeze
damaging them beyond use.