Evening Along the Chagrin

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Evening Along the Chagrin

Evening Along the Chagrin

In the spirit of today’s Write a Poem, Ray McNiece’s poem is a kind of walking poem, too.

“Evening Along the Chagrin” by Ray McNiece

A brown winter sparrow
clumps down beside
a stalk of sumac berries.

The juice-bright tongue
pierces the dusk
with 3...6...9 notes.

I bother up close
and alter the place
and singing altogether.

Clouds heavy and shift.
The river scours grey shale
a few calls downtrail.

I swing my curious
body backwards filling
the moment ago’s space.

The first star appears,
one scale of a silver fish
drifted off elsewhere.

“Evening Along the Chagrin” by Ray McNiece from The Road That Carried Me Here. Bottom Dog Press, 1998.  Used with permission of the author.

Ray McNiece has earned a national reputation as a poet and performer for almost two decades. He is the author of seven poetry books – Our Way of Life: Poems, Dis, The Bone-Orchard Conga, The Road that Carried Me Here, Song that Fathoms Home, and Wet Sand Raven Tracks – New Haiku, and Us? Talking Across America, plus two solo theatre works and one collaborative theatre work.  He also co-edited the anthology of contemporary Buddhist poetry, America Zen.