Thursday, January 12, 2011 — While we do not wish to trigger a flood of poetry submissions, we could not resist this.


Last days
seem often to be occasions of assemblies prefacing disassembly,
as of the tired, too late loved bridge,
a spare, utilitarian grace soon to be substituted
for the gentle arches and tapered towers.

Many feet
and paws that daily trod, and some that never did,
the grated walkway that borders the venerable spans, will later.
But now, as dawns the day before the gates are closed
and the work of the cutting torches begins,

The moon,
whose perfect nickel shape will tonight, from its zenith, illuminate
peeling paint and rust and thick black grease, descends to the horizon,
the glowing orange mass poised at the approach
like a molten steel wheel.

— John Simon
© 2012 by John Simon, all rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Memorial”

  1. John’s words speak volumes without uttering a sound like a beautiful New England farm in winter,
    with an invasion of snowflakes falling from the sky to take their rightful place in the pastoral picture,
    how blessed are we to be able to read and live the words he wrote,
    making us feel as if we were there.

  2. What Stuart said rings true for me, as well. John’s poems are so well-balanced and unpretentious. His use of appropriate vocabulary is unparalleled. He never reaches for a word. You never feel like he tries in vain to take you to another dimension, but creates dimensions within familiar, nostalgic domain.

  3. As always, when I receive a John Simon poem, I stop my work at the computer and relish the quiet, private literary journey that I know will unfold.
    I know the Memorial Bridge very well, having driven, rode a bike and walked over that tired, old, link that keeps New Hampshire and Maine connected.
    Reading John’s poem created a photo album of memories with many of the feelings that are tucked away in my heart. Feelings that I thought were privately felt but now I see that John put them into words. How appropriate to have a friend who can paint the words in a poem for us all to savor.

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