Karl Shapiro Poems
|1.||I Am An Atheist Who Says His Prayers||1/8/2016|
|4.||Love For A Hand||4/16/2010|
|5.||The Dome Of Sunday||4/16/2010|
|8.||Going To School||4/16/2010|
|9.||Sunday: New Guinea||4/16/2010|
|10.||The Piano Tuner’s Wife||4/16/2010|
|13.||The Conscientious Objector||4/16/2010|
|15.||A Garden In Chicago||1/13/2003|
|18.||The Olive Tree||1/13/2003|
The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to a turn,
But notched and whelked and pocked and smashed
With the great company names
(Gentle Bethlehem, smiling United States).
This rustproof artifact of my street,
Long after roads are melted away will lie
Sidewise in the grave of the iron-old world,
Bitten at the edges,
Strong with its cryptic American,
Its dated beauty.
Going To School
What shall I teach in the vivid afternoon
With the sun warming the blackboard and a slip
Of cloud catching my eye?
Only the cones and sections of the moon.
Out of some flaking page of scholarship,
Only some foolish heresy
To counteract the authority of prose.
The ink runs freely and the dry chalk flows
Into the silent night of seven slates