Saturday, August 3, 2013

Eric Robert Nolan- A Poem

A Churchgoer Passes My Yard on Sunday Morning

She seems
smart and responsible, somehow. 
There’s assurance in her
brisk and purposeful pace,
passing in her bright Peach,
trim and tailored suit.
I see no sanctimony, only
commitment to some task.
There’s order all about her.  I picture
parishes of prompt accountants. 

She has an incongruity
with my unordered lawn
as she passes in Peach.
The high and wild Green
is how I ornament
my unmarried days.

My lawn is in constant apostasy.
It has lost its faith
in the arrival of mowers
and conscientious owners.
This morning, my secular pen
serves its agnostic art;
her spiritual path
serves her salvation.

The high and unkempt grass
is my Green aesthetic.
Archetypes scuttle like beetles
over soil soft and dark --
as deep and as concealing as
the Jungian collective.

Bright dandelions
announce themselves in Yellow –
nascent ideas
pleading to be plucked,
as bright as the sun, as bright
as the pious’ Peach-colored suit.

Each stands over secrets –
Each stems up
from an interminable Earth
deep and vast and dark.
Under tectonic plates,
Magma burns in its belly.
In all our buried selves
-- down deep –
Is there heat sufficient
To soften stone?

Maybe next week I’ll engage her.
None of that nonsense
about “The Culture War.”
We’re both human.
We both stand over secrets.  Beneath us,
miles below, is magma.
Red rock runs in bright burning currents.

Were the lions facing Daniel any different
than the Lion that Auden envisioned
in “The Sea and the Mirror,”
insatiable and
ravenous for metaphor?

Or perhaps I’ll ask her about
The snake that troubled Adam.
It spoke, didn’t it?
Were there verses in its mouth?
Did its tongue
hint at inner dichotomies?
Of half-realized fears and unwanted memories?
Might it have crept
down from The Tree of Knowledge
onto a poet’s lawn 
where it riddled in rhyme?
Does it tempt me now
with inflicted insight?

In her saved soul and my newest muse,
we stand over secrets; we both 
concern ourselves with serpents.
Magma burns in our hearts.


Eric Robert Nolan graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.   He spent several years a news reporter and editorial writer for the Culpeper Star Exponent in Culpeper, Virginia.  His work has also appeared on the front pages of numerous newspapers in Virginia, including The Free Lance – Star and The Daily Progress.   Eric entered the field of philanthropy in 1996, as a grant writer for nonprofit healthcare organizations.

Eric’s poetry has been featured by Every Day Poets, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dagda Publishing, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, Dead Snakes and elsewhere.  His short story, “The Disappearance of Little Tommy Drummond,” will be featured by Dead Beats Literary Blog in the coming months.

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