Friday, June 29, 2012

"Sandy Beach at Crane Creek," Leonard Kress

"Sandy Beach at Crane Creek" 
(Leonard Kress)

There are no cranes in these marshes, there never were,
just grebes and coots and trumpeter swans with long,
thin and tapered necks, rising up to the song
of anxious waves. The stinging shallow water
unchanged since the ice age. There are no cranes,
just short-eared owls trolling the open meadow
and cabin cruisers and jet skis bobbing below
the scorching sun. The name deceived, so now we can

betray each other guiltlessly. There are
no cranes in these wetlands, and thus, no rules,
all misnamed. Into the crushed-shell sand
our children dig, and wade out much too far.
One of us embodies desire, and thus steals
the day—the rest, by the unmanned lifeguard stand.
(Port Clinton, Ohio)

"Sandy Beach at Crane Creek" by Leonard Kress appears online in Big Bridge #16 as part of a special poetry section, "Cuyahoga Burning," curated by Jonathan Penton. Kress was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Philadelphia. He studied Polish literature and folklore at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Among his collections of poetry are The Centralia Mine Fire, Sappho's Apples, Orphics, and The Orpheus Complex. In 2001 he published a new verse translation of the Polish romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz, written in 1834 by Adam Mickiewicz. He currently teaches philosophy, religion, and creative writing at Owens Community College in Toledo.

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