I'm a poet and writer living for the past six years in the South Jersey shore area. I moved here from North Jersey in 2009 after the 2008 death of my husband William J. (Bill) Higginson, author of The Haiku Handbook, to be closer to my daughter and family. I'm a mom, grandma, and sometimes poet-teacher for the NJSCA. My work has appeared in many journals, and in twenty-some books (including chapbooks). I read at the Dodge Festival in 2010, and have enjoyed two poetry residencies at VCCA (January 2011; March 2015). Please visit my website:www.2hweb.net/penhart and my blog: http://penhart.wordpress.com New books: Recycling Starlight; The Resonance Around Us http://mountainsandriverspress.org/TitleView.aspx
The future lies on the other side of the neighboring
field or waits around the next bend—the one with no
center line—at an intersection fixed on a map.
What has already happened there wraps itself firmly
around our flesh like a rope hauling a climber up
the slippery scrabble of a nameless mountainside.
The future is a static landscape—not a spool of flickering
stills, their singularity revealed so fast we can't decipher
boundaries, but an infinity of the already been there and
done that, which we daily wander through, sometimes
stumbling into déjà vu, that familiar shiver raising the fur
on our arms and chilling the napes of our necks, as if
ghosts were drifting back into the rooms we call
now, wanting to tell us how it is or was or will be
since they think they have been there and know.
Just now, over my right shoulder, I catch
a fleeting glimpse of a shadow as it slips
between my lamp and the shuttered window.
I think it might be the shadow of the sound
a passing car makes on the highway out front—
transparent synesthesia—yet faintly blue
as if a single wave of tires on the blacktop were
washing through the wall into a ghostly form
whose half-life I cannot catch in my net.
Once I saw a wall of butterflies, their iridescent
wings pinned to cork, their names inscribed by
a careful hand in calligraphic ink, and their sky
confined to an airless box. And I wonder who
has just been in my study, bearing traces of
a shimmering sky that lies beyond our own.
-both poems from The Resonance Around Us (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2013.)
©2016 Penny Harter
©2016 Penny Harter
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