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Two Lake poems

Paul Lake
Paul Lake

A Midnight Dawn

  • When tinkling glass
  • Rang in my ear,
  • I walked the hall
  • Where Chanticleer
  • Had crowed up dawn
  • With crackling mirth,
  • Red feathers flashing
  • From his perch,
  • While from the breach
  • In the ceiling swung
  • Our chandelier
  • Like a felon strung,
  • Legs wildly kicking,
  • Until my eyes
  • Spied red tongues licking
  • Toward the skies.
  • Then as engines
  • Flashed and roared
  • To save our roof,
  • The rooster soared
  • Passed blackened beams
  • And joists that left
  • The acrid scent
  • Of dragon’s breath.

Lullaby

  • Hush, child, invisible
  • As thought or silent prayer
  • Around a supper table,
  • Restless and fugitive,
  • Dear ghost, if you are able,
  • Consider the young pair
  • Whose adolescent love
  • Had not grown full enough
  • To grant you a small share,
  • And, for love’s sake, forgive
  • Those suffered now to live
  • In love beneath one roof,
  • By absence made your heirs.

Paul Lake is the poetry editor of First Things. His poetry book The Republic of Virtue won the 2013 Richard Wilbur Award.

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Paul Lake
Paul Lake

A Midnight Dawn

  • When tinkling glass
  • Rang in my ear,
  • I walked the hall
  • Where Chanticleer
  • Had crowed up dawn
  • With crackling mirth,
  • Red feathers flashing
  • From his perch,
  • While from the breach
  • In the ceiling swung
  • Our chandelier
  • Like a felon strung,
  • Legs wildly kicking,
  • Until my eyes
  • Spied red tongues licking
  • Toward the skies.
  • Then as engines
  • Flashed and roared
  • To save our roof,
  • The rooster soared
  • Passed blackened beams
  • And joists that left
  • The acrid scent
  • Of dragon’s breath.

Lullaby

  • Hush, child, invisible
  • As thought or silent prayer
  • Around a supper table,
  • Restless and fugitive,
  • Dear ghost, if you are able,
  • Consider the young pair
  • Whose adolescent love
  • Had not grown full enough
  • To grant you a small share,
  • And, for love’s sake, forgive
  • Those suffered now to live
  • In love beneath one roof,
  • By absence made your heirs.

Paul Lake is the poetry editor of First Things. His poetry book The Republic of Virtue won the 2013 Richard Wilbur Award.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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