April 15, 2010
A Poem from Dan Carpenter

Dan Carpenter is an Indianapolis native and a columnist for The Indianapolis Star. His poems have appeared in Poetry East, Southern Indiana Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Illuminations and other journals. A collection of his poems, More Than I Could See, was published in 2009 by Restoration Press of Indianapolis.

McCormick’s Creek, Early April

Bolting from the herd and TV captivity
I venture out from the Canyon Inn
past the couple feeding white bread
to nervous half-tame raccoons
up the walkway to the parking lot
across the asphalt expanse and at last
into the black woods
which lighten to gray then silver
as my eyes adjust and the full moon burns
through a cotton dome of clouds

There is no peace awaiting
on this mulched path in bloodless early spring
Bare black branches claw toward the milky light
like ganglia in an old dream
a child’s black dream of retribution 

I am not outside so much as under
buried by the world whose light-mask mocks me
     I shiver       though it’s warm for the season
     I hasten      as though wolves weren’t history
     I fear this gray glowing shadowland
     more than black brute nature
     of no moon and no markings
     and as I stand and taste the ageless air
     I feel in this small terror a strange joy
     feel it passing       precious as desire

The Indiana Humanities Council is posting poems on Think.Read.Talk. by Hoosier poets in celebration of National Poetry Month. Other Indiana celebrations include poetry readings at the Artsgarden (above the intersection of Illinois and Washington Streets, Indianapolis), performed each Monday at 12:15 p.m. For a schedule of events, click here.

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