Various Authors 8:30 a.m., July 15
Let the cow mow the grass
Three poems by Frederick Turner
The Peace Treaty
- My neighbor’s cow has got across
- The green creek down below,
- She’s on my island, eating grass
- That I had planned to mow.
- And so I sit and watch her graze,
- And drink a glass of wine:
- Would that the whole world had our ways
- Of treating mine and thine!
On a Flemish Voice
- For Annemarie Estor (and with thanks to Jan Vermeer)
- Light from the great window isolates
- The lady poet in the black French dress
- Whose eyes glance sideways in alarm, their whites
- Whiter than that fair skin, a sweet distress.
- For they have asked her for the poem in Flemish,
- When she had thought that she had got it done
- In English, and without a single blemish;
- And now she must go back where she’d begun.
- A throaty flute, as warbled as a thrush,
- Yet with the old Dutch downright honesty,
- Her voice half-catches in the rising blush,
- As if surprised in all its privacy:
- Ghost caught in body, flesh inwoven to
- A lace of song, what strangely changed to who.
Evening in Crete
- It’s cooler now. Across the breeze-brushed sea
- The mountain’s shadow falls.
- The islands in the east now seem to be
- Dim golden miracles.
- Now all the herbal fragrances break free
- Into this sapphire time:
- White oleander, jasmine, rosemary,
- And violet-starry thyme.