John Stanizzi

The March Acrostics: 3.7-3.11

from POND (WIP)

Houghton Farm: Pond and Willows by Winslow Homer


8.46 a.m.
4 degrees

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

-Wallace Stevens
-The Snow Man

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.  
It was a small part of the pantomime. 

-Wallace Stevens
-Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Pantomime, this konnn-kaa-reee, pretending it is spring, but
O, it is just four degrees and we have been cold a long time.
Noblesse accent that herald of warmth this bright and bitter
day when nothing not there and nothing that is there stays frozen.



10.16 a.m.
24 degrees

Persistence in this hard freeze.  Not an
ounce of run off anywhere, not on the roads,
naught on the path, none around the pond, or in the stream, and still the birds
direct our attention to days of massive melting and welcomed warmth.



4.02 p.m.
46 degrees

Pace is not a word I would attribute to this trifling meltage.
OD’d on human company today, and so the tranquility of the pond
nourishes my aching, sagging body with what might be mistaken for quiet,
downys’ chittering, the chatter-cheap of the sparrows, the wren’s clear melody home.



8.53 a.m.
31 degrees

Pianissimo this rain, sleet, snow, this lion, March, refusing to
own its responsibility as harbinger of warmer times.  There’s no
notion of blossoms, greening grass; even the hot skunk cabbage is buried
dank beneath the snowpack.  I thought I saw its purple head looking up from a deer print.



4.26 p.m.
49 degrees

Peregrine blackbirds bloom on the knuckled branches,
oracles on the breeze which, today, is warm, and the sound of water,
nutritive streams, are rushing audible underground, as beneath the snow
daffodils’ green plectrums begin their push through the brown earth.


About the writer:
John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Blue Mountain Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and many others. Stanizzi has been translated into Italian and his work has appeared in many journals in Italy. He has read at venues all over New England, and his newest collection, Sundowning, will be out later this year with Main Street Mag. Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

Image: Houghton Farm: Pond and Willows by Winslow Homer (1836-1910). Water color and gouache on tan wove paper. 7 x 8.2 inches. 1878. Public domain.