EP&M Online Poetry

3 Sonnets


Frederick Turner

(from the sequence Wayfayer Poems)

The Credit Card

He wonders how he could have got so free,
How stress and boredom lost their hold on him.
Was it just tricks of neurochemistry,
Was he just drugged by smiling cherubim?

Or was it that he'd simply seen the truth?
And more than seen it, thrown himself that way,
So that the great change had brought back his youth,
And the cloud-curtains parted on Commencement Day--

The cosmos is a chopped-up credit card,
Whose fragments are the dust of galaxies,
Whose code encodes the pattern of each shard,
And guides the shredder, Time's antitheses:

So he who reads Time's spinning blade aright
Has found the key unlocking worlds of light.

The Sacred Spring

The bus has stopped with a pneumatic sigh.
The driver's tipped his cap back and gone off.
Behind the parking lot is only sky.
There is a stand there with a metal roof.

He goes to look at the great hills beyond.
This is the Western Scarp, where the Harp Spring
Bubbles and falls into a little pond.
He kneels and drinks and looks up, wondering.

Just then the passengers come back, and one
Calls out that trash like him should not be free
To drink the holy water of the run,
That he is just a lifespent refugee.

The wanderer recalls his old renown.
He steps in quickly, knocks the fellow down.

Posthumous Finance

His banker and his broker find him out
One day while he is lodging in the city.
It's just a studio by the East Redoubt,
A working district, but the views are pretty.

His banker's tasked to manage the bequest,
His broker handles the portfolio.
That dead self must perhaps have thought it best
To make it foolproof, and to let him go.

Things must be signed, though, and the wanderer
Must somehow try to focus and recall.
He wants to help the young entrepreneur,
Creating good jobs with the capital.

But the geranium in the window-box
Distracts him from the talk of bonds and stocks.

Frederick Turner is Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas.  A poet, critic, and former editor of The Kenyon Review, his books include Genesis: An Epic Poem; Natural Classicism; Foamy Sky: The Major Poems of Miklos Radnoti (translation with Zsuzsanna Ozsváth); The Culture of Hope; Hadean Eclogues; Paradise; and Natural Religion (A Tech Central Station book-of-the-month in the summer of 2006)

"Credit Card", "The Sacred Spring", "Posthumous Finance"
copyright © 2006 by Frederick Turner
and may not be reprinted or distributed without permission from the author.