PoetryIssue 23 | November 2015

Two Poems by David Havird

Upon This Rock

Two days of it, wind from Africa
shoving the sea from its bed. The Sahara
erased the horizon, hazed the islands
from view. But now, across a bay as blue
as it is calm, as blue as the churches are white,
on the tip of each of two narrow peninsulas
gleamingly white—across the shimmering bay
a fishing boat putters. Over my shoulder
a dove coos; farther inland the bells
of the blue-domed basilica toll:
call and response. When next, from down below,
from somewhere amid the stand of pines
between this place and the shoreline,
a rooster crows, I go in my mind,
I shoulder my way—head down,
again I am butting my way through the wind
to the edge of the cliff: wind-steepened waves,
a crown, and wind-torn wisps like tatting,
the sea, a god’s bulk, bursting against the face
of the cliff, the depths like batting
up through a hole in a boulder
exploding. Hearing the rooster, I picture the rock
hawking the sea from its throat;
I think of the fisherman Peter
erupting with curses, in agony crowing.

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About the author

David Havird is the author of two collections, “Map Home” (2013) and “Penelope’s Design”(2010), which won the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review. A professor of English at Centenary College of Louisiana, he has been teaching a May course in Greece since 2009.

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