About this Poem 

“Phrases and voices surround us always, like notes of music whose sources may be just out of sight, out of reach. Pieces of a story, a relationship, a landscape—here I let them coexist without too much worry over explanations. Here too I’m interested in both form and fracture, letting the syllabic lines maintain a rift, a caesura, as part of the rhythm of it all.”
—David Baker

As a Portent

At least there was a
                                             song   timorous of

wing-beat snowdrift ash
                                             of red horizon

then somewhere calling
                                             as under one’s breath

(I did not hope you
                                            would find me wanting)

and the next extinction
                                            on every wing— 

Copyright @ 2014 by David Baker. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright @ 2014 by David Baker. Used with permission of the author.

David Baker

David Baker

David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine, on December 27, 1954. 

by this poet

Now we knelt beside 
the ruined waters 
as our first blood, 
our bulb-before-bloom, 
unfurled too early 

in slender petals. 
Now we were empty. 
Now we walked for months 
on softer shoes and 
spoke, not quite with grief. 

This morning four deer 
come up to the yard 
to stand, to be stunned, 
at the woods' edge

See the pair of us
                              Raining and morning

the first soft ashes

                              along the high road

running the far ridge
                              of pines ripped wild to

timbers by storming

Yesterday a little girl got slapped to death by her daddy,
   out of work, alcoholic, and estranged two towns down river. 
America, it's hard to get your attention politely.
   America, the beautiful night is about to blow up

and the cop who brought the man down with a shot to the chops 
   is shaking hands,