Wednesday, April 2, 2014

William Stafford: Maybe Alone on My Bike

William Stafford, 1980s
Forget policy!  How about some poetry?

April you may know is "National Poetry Month," and this year is the centennial of William Stafford's birth.

His son, Kim, was in town last month to celebrate, and it happens that the elder Stafford biked and wrote a bike poem, "Maybe alone on my bike"!
I listen, and the mountain lakes
hear snowflakes come on those winter wings
only the owls are awake to see,
their radar gaze and furred ears
alert. In that stillness a meaning shakes;

And I have thought (maybe alone
on my bike, quaintly on a cold
evening pedaling home) think! -
the splendor of our life, its current unknown
as those mountains, the scene no one sees.

Oh citizens of our great amnesty:
we might have died. We live. Marvels
coast by, great veers and swoops of air
so bright the lamps waver in tears,
and I hear in the chain a chuckle I like to hear.

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