A Thousand Miles Of Stars by Walt McDonald

By Walt McDonald

A number of the elegance all of us desire A West Texas starscape, gorgeous by means of any degree, is emblematic of Walt McDonald’s plains. A lifelong party culminates during this, his best—and might be last—collection of recent poems. At seventy, the poet affirms, we are living through the secret of grace whilst we watch prevalent stars blink out at sunrise. For he believes "God is familiar with we're airborne dirt and dust / and counts our steps." In "Leaving the center Years," he writes, "At our age, / on a daily basis is grace and each breath / a blessing. lifestyles is grass, stunningly short / yet plentiful in such a lot of ways." Walt writes approximately heroes—a mom who taught tumbling; friends and family long gone to warfare; the courageous at domestic who heal or console; others who rescue from battle zones as many youngsters as they could. Heroes, too, are these whose constancy and pleasure locate faces in those poems. staring at crows at sunrise in Montana, a husband thinks of his spouse inside of their mountain cabin: If Ursula unearths extra grey she’ll cross on buzzing, understanding it’s ok, our kids 3 thousand miles away yet superb, once they referred to as final evening. She comes open air with espresso, last the door so softly even the crows don’t cease.

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Example text

At dawn, like a monk, I say the names I know on the wall in Washington. I wish for Easter all year long. I don’t hear rockets or gunfire, now, but I feel glass rattle behind me, jet bomber high above clouds. God, let blizzards howl, let peaks turn white. Let elk climb steeper slopes for weeds, let cougars come, whatever we can’t stop. [ 37 ] This page intentionally left blank [ 38 ] Part 4 Hammering Ice to Slush [ 39 ] This page intentionally left blank [ 40 ] Hammering Ice to Slush Wind flings snow over stalks like cobblestones.

Always they fought over nothing, but laughs were reason enough for murder, said the frown in my cousin’s fist. I remember they rolled and scuffled on the floor while I stood posted at the door as a lookout, or merely stared, the kid who couldn’t tell, couldn’t break them up or make them leave me alone. Someone had to pay, the wrath and stagger in our uncle’s belt turning us all to drink. Now, at bedtime, when I’m alone with my wife, I wonder if our children’s children are in their parents’ arms, kissing goodnight, tucked in and calling across the room those lullabies and psalms we taught our children, the grace of bedtime laughter, the simple blessing of names.

No landmark stays the same, even silhouettes on maps of animals we fancy—Nag’s Head, Fetlock, Parrot’s Beak. We stack fat concrete slabs like building blocks, pile drive steel piers for condos and hotels, but water knocks them down, floods docks and beach-front condos, inlets, even Kitty Hawk. The tide shifts sand like assets in Swiss banks, and sand ends up in Georgia, Scotland, who knows where. Like children, we haul and stabilize the sand, and drag lighthouses back from beaches that ebb like playtime days we wished could last forever, when one by one at dusk our mothers called us home.

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