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Word Processing at Fredda Brown's Farmhouse in Ghent, New York


1.   Reading


Upstairs my wife is bathing

Lavender-thickened air falls

To where I sit by a dark window

Outside moths in drumming dance

Beg to die upon my reading lamp


Today we went to a vineyard

To taste wine I should not drink

Bursting red with intoxic sugars

All day my heart was beating

Breaking against an unseen screen


I carry book and bottle outside

To watch a young willow dance

Upon the moon, reading Tu Fu:

 I am a man who’s made no name

And in a wing beat I am old.



2.  Writing


Above the roof a soft, inflated moon

Scatters gold upon the rippling pond

All night long its waves travel endless miles

To bathe me in the silence of the stars


Frogs stopped their carouse hours ago

My lone companion is an empty wine glass

Stained red in the light of a citron candle

Not a mark on the white page of my notebook


Dawn comes filmed in a slow, fine rain

I hear it in the treetops as mist forms below

Musk and lavender drift across the valley

And will linger in unwritten verses for days


Gary Sledge


Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas.