RICHARD KRAWIEC

Vespers

cicadas winch ever louder as dusk comes on
the bright August sunlight darkens as dusk comes on

from down the street a boy flounders for a drum beat,
memories of childhood harken as dusk comes on

first star, and night’s cool breeze wipes the sweat from my face
sizzle of frying meat beckons as dusk comes on

two owls hoot across the gray wind-tossed woods,
at the lit window, dogs barking as dusk comes on

does this move you closer to joy or death, Richard
pouring yet another bourbon as dusk comes on

 

, And Still

the rain applauds on the shimmering leaves and still
cicadas drone in the storm-shaking trees, and still

a man at a table huddles over coffee,
in bed a woman rolls across the sheets, and still

two cardinals cling to the cage holding seedcakes,
shopping list in hand, someone grabs up keys, and still

soft jazz fills the dim room, candles flicker shadows,
on the street, someone falls, rolls over to sleep, and still

you watch the sudden flood wind through the trees until
this journey to the ocean from the streams, and still

 

Richard Krawiec has published three books of poems, most recently *Women Who Loved me Despite*. His work appears in dozens of literary magazines, including *New Orleans Review, Drunken Boat, Shenandoah, sou’wester, Dublin Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Spillway, North Dakota Quarterly, Blue Fifth Review, *The Ghazal Page*, etc. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year by two magazines. In addition to poetry, he has published 2 novels, *Time Sharing* and *Faith in What?*, a story collection,*And Fools of God*, and 4 plays. His Creative Non-Fiction is shared now primarily through his Facebook blog. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NC Arts Council(twice), and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He teaches online courses for UNC Chapel Hill, for which he won their Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. He is founder of Jacar Press, a Community Active publishing company. www.jacarpress.com He has worked extensively with people in homeless shelters, women's shelters, prisons, literacy classes, and community sites,
teaching writing.