Representative Poems by John Perrault
Some Recently Published:
Fathers and Sons
At the dinner table,
When manly disagreements loomed
And basic values were at stake,
His mother would reach with both hands
To smooth the tablecloth
And calm the situation.
His father wasn’t able
To appreciate the move. Doom
Would settle on his brow—he’d make
A vow to take the boy in hand,
Show him who’s boss—and the cost
Of talking back to reason.
The boy was capable
Of what boys do. He’d flee the room,
Run out to the barn, throw the rakes
And tools around—and with both hands,
Shinny the pole to the loft.
Years later, he'd come down.
--First Published in Blue Unicorn
(I'm nobody! Who are you? --Emily Dickinson)
Not on Facebook?
Two of us then.
A couple of ones.
The Belle of Amherst
Twittering at dawn.
--FIRST PUBLISHED IN The Lyric
Deer sidle into the yard at midnight
For the blackened acorns under the snow--
They watch them from the kitchen window:
Last winter two, maybe three; this year, eight.
Seven doe, a buck, working a good foot
Down to scratch a living--nosing dead leaves,
Frozen grass, small chunks of brittle moss,
For what they have to offer: bitter fruit.
They sit in the dark with only the lamp
Across the road for light: the buck circles,
Stakes claim to a patch up by the fence--
A doe approches, backs off with a limp.
Neither stirs, says a word, when the last deer
Moves on. When dawn defaults to a gray sky
Marbled with gold. When the clock strikes eight,
And the Sheriff arrives with the papers.
--New Verse News
--from Here Comes the Old Man Now
Love comes wrapped in three words
ribboned by the lips;
best to open carefully,
it's such a fragile gift.
Gently part the syllables,
lift them to the light;
once they're whispered, they can break
your heart--so hold on tight.
Ashes to Ashes
Ash blankets the old graves
We stumble into the picture
straining to focus
We lean close
I Like It
I like it
when the mourning doves
We knew setting out
we knew that we'd get soaked
comes to the surface
hard as stone
the ground yields
to a thousand rains.
--from The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse
|All Souls Eve
As the mist lifts from the cut swale
the deer slip out of the trees
dropping their shadows to the meadow floor
baring themselves to the moon--
slowly they turn in the pale light
moving in groups of twos, of threes
testing the earth with their silver hooves
their eyes, coming toward us.
Charter's beans are poking through the dirt
Meanwhile, he'll marinate
shot of spit: "You don't want to rush
he likes to say--" a good round