A few words from John Stanizzi: the poems are from a one-year-long project called POND -- The poems are acrostics. Everyday, at different times during the day, I would visit our pond with notebook and camera in hand. I’d jot down some notes, take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presented itself. Then I’d head home and write a four-line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which made the project so interesting and challenging to me, was that I did not allow myself use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, or D word for every day. I began the book on November 9, 2018 and completed it on November 8, 2019, without ever missing a single day.
Patterns die hard even this deep into winter. This wind’s
nibbled away at the snow-pack, it is still knee-deep, slow to
dissolve. And the wind says nothing about spring
Patiently, I keep telling myself, patiently. Five starlings are
Nuthatch’s diminutive grunt-laugh seems to say, Winter’s
deadbolt is still locked, and I come looking for change where there is none.
Pair of titmice in flutter display, the sound of wings, the sound of
ornamental high-pitched vocalizations that sing of corporeal contact,
naturistic flight-dance, flitting, floating down, flying up, spring
dance, mating tango, as the world around them slowly melts.
Parting with a roil, two streams – Fowler’s and ours -- pour into the pond.
Operatic black birds – grackles, starlings – too
numerous and active to count – red-winged black birds, cowbirds --
descend on the feeders with an audible voraciousness, devouring everything.
Pacifistic melting; the breeze is warm; the voice of the stream
ongoing, it blesses the Sabbath with clear water, encourages me to
notate its clarity that I may drink one day, that I may help to nourish this cedar
dragged to thinness and pain by bittersweet from which I will release it this spring.
John L. Stanizzi, a former Wesleyan University Etherington Scholar, is the author of the collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits, Chants, and his newest collection, Sundowning. Besides Bradlaugh's Finger, John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, Rattle, Poetlore, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut River Review, Hawk & Handsaw, Plainsongs, and many others. His creative non-fiction has been featured in Stone Coast Review, Ovunque Siamo, Adelaide, Scarlet Leaf, and Evening Street. John’s work has been translated into Italian and appeared in many journals in Italy. His translator is Angela D’Ambra. John is a former New England Poet of the Year, and teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry. http://www.