Homage to Mark Strand
Staring at his coffin, gray and angular,
Mark will mark the day, like his disheveled
shirt and sports coat; wonder what remains
beyond the waves, applause, and
jaws of sadness and depression.
Words fly out from a gaping
hole above the door;
he strains to see, imagine;
passions cooled with age,
except the rage to create.
A poem’s one side
of a passionate conversation.
How many such conversations
did he wage?
A ghostly presence in the lines,
the face, the trace of agony
in taut lips, gray hair and
the pall-gray scarf about the neck.
The coffin waits, the grisly guest
will not delay.
Ed Block is Emeritus Professor of English at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, where he taught courses on (among others) Denise Levertov and Czeslaw Milosz and workshops in creative writing. His interviews, essays, reviews and short stories have appeared in America, Image, Logos, U.S. Catholic, St. Anthony Messenger, and a variety of other journals. Over fifty of his poems have appeared in magazines and journals, and he has published three books of poems: Anno Domini (2016), Seasons of Change (2021), and Moments Strange (2022). Visit him at www.greendalebrushandquill.com.