Photo of the Day Poems – Post #11

These three poems from my collection of last year’s The Guardian Photo Poems are some of my favorites. Though none of these poems really showcases a set form, structurally, they are two stanza poems that draw inspiration from a set of images that defy a set form in themselves, but provide stunning juxtapositions: surfers at sunset in Indonesia, a prescribed burn at Bear Mound Park in Wisconsin, and, perhaps, my favorite image of the week – a bride and groom on a see-saw in North Korea. (All poems by Vincent H. Anastasi)

Tapaktuan, Indonesia (4/15/19)
Photograph: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images


One needs no board,
to ride these waves
curling on horizon’s dimming lip
scattering blue and violet.
Salmon breakers enjamb
into yawning reds,
billowing orange,
the sun shrouded in surf.

Silhouetted, if seen at all,
we stalk the beaches
sifting through these fragments
cast upon the sand,
piecing together some poor reflection
of watercolor sky
hoping to ride these words
beyond where the sunsets glow,
where waves lap at aeonian shores
under undying sun.

Madison, Wisconsin, US (4/16/19)
Photograph: John Hart/AP

Prescribed Burn

Every life requires a prescribed burn.
Untended, it turns wild
or decays beneath detritus.
Tie the little foxes’ tails together,
primal torch bearers,
and set them free to flame
the fields of your heart.
Drag the debris of decades
out onto the front lawn,
a funeral pyre to the long dead.

Hire the holy arsonist
whose tongues of fire
consume your castles in the sky.
Guard the perimeter faithfully
‘till the immolation is complete
and the smoke clears
leaving the ashen mosaic
of a charred soul
restored in silence.

Pyongyang, North Korea (4/18/19)
Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images


Marriage is a balancing act,
two willing souls teetering
and tottering through time, the give 
and take, push off, rise,
and descend
and again, ever
in motion,
neither fully at rest,

but together, the toil
of strength on strength,
our push and pull,
seesaw-like, moves us
ever farther down the track
as we fall into
the harmonious rhythm
of one flesh.

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