I was brought up and still live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia so I rely on imagery derived from the natural landscape to explore human relationships. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have two daughters and three grandchildren. I have been an architectural woodcarver for over 35 years and have written numerous articles and three books on the subject. My poetry has appeared in Shenandoah, Green Mountains Review, The Lyric, The South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, and others.
Author's Note: The impetus for “Meander Scars” was noticing old road tracks snaking either side of the current relatively straight highway I frequently travel in conjunction with reading “Home Ground: a guide to the American Landscape” (edited by Barry Lopez & Debra Gwartney) which is a compendium of short explanations of geographic features. "On Waters” admittedly is autobiographical and true to experience. My future wife and I picnicked beside the reservoir while below the UVA crew team practiced.
In flood, the river breaches its banks
to sever its lazy loops, leaving
its old self in fat crescents, commas, oxbows,
in meander scars which never
quite disappear under frogs, cattails and silt.
Drive any winter highway to notice
flat planes diverging, flowing
into random forests, then returning, only
to arc again a few miles on. They are echoes
of earlier passage, a rendering of memory’s contours.
Could it be the same with lovers’ wounds:
each dancing in a magnetic field
between bee-sweet words and beggar’s lice,
each laboring in their distrust, their
difficult grace, to color in their life,
each healing without phantom pain?
-first appeared in Artemis
Our picnic brought the season’s first warm grace.
On the reservoir, Eakin’s boys rowed their craft,
a needle sewing a gently sequined surface.
As we unpacked Edam and Mateus, we laughed,
spread the woolen blanket, broke the deli-rye.
They practiced an immaculate syncopation,
back and forth, cadenced toward a trophy sky,
the mechanics of speed some formal equation.
We snickered at our private jokes and clever lines,
grew flush exploring different geographies.
You ripped your blouse on broken vines
while we mocked the world’s feuding philosophies.
We’ll not know, did they envy our earthy ease
pursuing the horizon they could never seize?
first appeared in The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review
©2015 Frederick Wilbur