|In the June 2012 issue of The Writer, Patrick Hicks offers tips for how to fit poems into a collection. These poems are featured in This London, the poet's second collection:|
Taking Photographs for StrangersIt happens near famous landmarks.
They offer their cameras, I take each one
like a keyhole. I put it to my eye,
and spy into their world.
With a fingerclick,
I pour amber onto the earth—
birds are in mid-flight, water stops,
a nugget of sunlight jewels a window.
I slot everything into place,
pieces are puzzled into a frame.
And when these tourists return home,
part of me goes with them
to far off lands I will never see.
Long after this memory abandons me,
when it skips into the fog of loss,
they will still have a snapshot
of a world I once knew.
What a strange gift.
They can crawl inside my eye,
point at the birds and sunlight,
and they can see everything,
exactly as I have forgotten it.
(originally published in Cold Mountain Review)
Note to a Friend Yet to be Born
If you think of me at all from your future,
I must seem like a tourist to you,
my antique clothes are not of your world.
Time may separate us,
but take this poem and know that,
if it weren’t for an ocean of days between us,
I would invite you to a leafy park
where we could watch the clouds,
and compare notes on the city we love.
But, given enough time, you will join me,
and these streets which you currently command,
these buildings you hustle past, will all be awarded to another.
Then we—for, my friend, we will become “we”—
we can chuckle and watch them hold what once was ours …
these bricks, these landmarks, this gurgling river.
Patrick Hicks is the author of poetry collections including Finding the Gossamer and This London. He edited the collection A Harvest of Words, which was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award. He lives in South Dakota, where he is writer in residence at Augustana College. His first novel, The Missing, is represented by The Unter Agency.