2020 Open Call , Poems - John Stanizzi



Nearly two feet of snow

By John Stanizzi

3.4.19, 2.01 p.m. 34 degrees

Pressing down on the pond, massive white clouds seem to have weight, and the
occultations of tree-shadows cover the pond with a heaviness; the
nodding cedar, hung with great bolts of snow, bends toward snapping; everything feels
dense – snow, ice, clouds, wind, the air in my lungs as I trudge through two-feet of snow

3.5.19, 11.42 p.m. 22 degrees

Passerine -- three toes forward and one toe back, this merl
overtakes the suet feeder, all feet and squawk, they scrap beak and
nail, pushing and shoving, clawing and biting, up from the pond they
dominate the feeder, more fight than food, a bad example for the chickadees.

3.6.19, 12.16 p.m. 22 degrees

Pure sound of spring, the air is filled with the calls of black birds
overcome by its nearness, and though it’s still too warm for us to
notice any melting, the calendar says we’re only weeks away;
do not be fooled by the pond’s windswept ice, its countenance is bitterness.

3.12.19, 9.05 a.m. 34 degrees

Patterns die hard even this deep into winter. This wind’s
ovation is for winter’s return to dawn; though the sun has
nibbled away at the snow pack, it is still knee-deep, slow to
dissolve. And the wind says nothing about spring.

3.13.19, 8.20 a.m. 21 degrees

Patiently, I keep telling myself, patiently. Five starlings are
outclassed by a pair of cardinals wheeling across the pond.
Nuthatch’s diminutive grunt-laugh seems to say, Winter’s
deadbolt is still locked, and I come looking for change where there is none.


3.14.19, 7.37 a.m. 35 degrees

Pair of titmice in flutter display, the sound of wings, the sound of
ornamental high-pitched vocalizations that sing of corporeal contact,
naturistic flight-dance, flitting, floating down, flying up, spring
dance, mating tango, as the world around them slowly melts.




John L. Stanizzi is the author of the chapbook, Windows. His full length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall Antrim House Books, and After the Bell, and Hallelujah Time!, Big Table Publishing Company. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New York Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, Passages North, The Spoon River Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Boston Literary Review, and many other publications.


John has read at many venues throughout Connecticut, including The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, RJ Julia Booksellers, and the Arts Café Mystic, and his work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. He is currently an adjunct professor of English at Manchester Community College. John is currently at work on Hallelujah Time!—Volume II, the follow up to his recently released Hallelujah Time! He lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry, Connecticut.


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