Poetry by Ed Hack: Songs In The Air, Perhaps, and All Before A Word

Songs In The Air

A gray-green morning wet with dew that birds
fly through. They’re gone but songs now charm the air.
Odd trills and calls, I guess that they assert
this truth: when was it life was ever fair
but sing is what we do, since day and night
and birth and threat and hunger’s what we know.
No answer here but life against the might
of loss. And what is life except the glow
of love that shows us what’s beyond all loss.
No life, no loss, it’s true. But life proves what
is possible and what cannot be lost
though death intrude and turn our hopes to dust.
We sing despite, we sing because, of death.
We sing to fill our lungs with living breath.



The quiet when the train has passed is deep
as stone’s forsaken silences, white ash
when fire’s cold, the boundlessness of sleep.
It is finality, when now is past.
The rabbit feeds in early morning light
as shadow brushes by. Perhaps a hawk.
Perhaps. The sound of tick and tock, the bright,
the dark, the stillness then the talk,
not knowing then the call. First absence then
a life that howls at the intrusion of
the air, the pain of light, as life, again.
begins. First shock and then, with luck, true love.
Imagine all that’s gone and all arrived
since you began this poem about our lives.


All Before A Word

The dawn imagines day in silences
of light and new born sky. All now is still
as just before the air broke into sense
when words emerged in order to fulfill
the urge to say the self and be more than
hands that somehow always work and eyes that saw
beyond the skin but could not understand
though terrorized by predatory maws.
What’s Eden then but all before a word
announced us set apart from wind and stream,
from densities of stone, and songs of birds
whose music was as foreign as a dream?
The dawn’s long gone. The door is open wide
to day as it advances stride by stride.


Ed Hack: “I was a teacher. I’m now a poet. I’ve been writing for years, been published here and there, but for the last three years I’ve been exploring the passions, precision, and forms of the sonnet.”


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