A Poem Stolen in Celebration
of David Davis (1946-2020)
by Paulette DemersTurco
Nuttall’s woodpecker shakes its wings,
the woodcock flies up, twittering,
the Great Horned owl questions “who?”
How dawn’s skies are flaring red
for human sight, how earthbound streams
fall and leap into the air.
Only joy metastasized——
to brighter yellow, free from shade;
how snowmen populate the clouds.
How receptors in your brain
made orbits orbit, juggled stamps
and needles, thread, imagined
sonnet with a horse, how larkspur
served as lodestone for a cow,
knew canine theology,
how green and red tomatoes share
a vine, how orange is a word
that can be rhymed by more ang-
elic. You hiked by columbine
and rose, though briars tore your clothes,
steady, while crossing streams on rocks.
While rooted like a winter oak,
you caught the sun, crossed a clearing,
like the moth beside Chalk Creek.
Your heart slowed down near Market Town,
on second Saturdays—now Zoom—
you sat with poets talking vigorously
inside the town library;
a programmer as alchemist,
your wonder grasped infinity.
Your poetry lives at Joppa Flats,
your whoo-hoo echoes Sunday mics,
your theory—imminence of cause,
discarded once you knew deep love—
replaced by natural communion.
Your endorphins flow with joy
while an oriole sings overhead.
From you we learned how small the mind
of a chickadee, how large its world.
A Cento—a poem designed by assembling words from poems of
another poet. Italicized words are mine.