Time to Play

By Landis Everson 1926–2007 Landis Everson
Now it's time to play. Nobody says,
like they used to, but in my bones
the desire overwhelms me. "Write!
Make a poem," say the bones.

The inlet will come first. It always does.
Water calls urgently, "egret." The waterbird
that moves elastically over the surface
making everything focus soon or late.

Now my hand enters. It always does.
It gives the bones reason to observe.
It makes the egret the finest thing in sight
and the water intelligent north of here.

Water is genius because it is interconnected.
Drop south knows drop north.
But the bones will lose their joy
if the bird overwhelms the old playground.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008


Poet Landis Everson was born in Coronado, California. He studied at the University of California-Berkeley, where he was poetry editor of Occident and a member of the Berkeley Renaissance, a group of writers that included poets Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, and Robin Blaser. After studying for an MA at Columbia University, he returned to the San Francisco area and became involved in a weekly workshop with his fellow Berkeley poets. . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets


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