From David Lee’s Stone Wind Water. A Morning Poem


Sunrise    Tea    Kitchen Table

What call’st thou solitude, is not the Earth
With various living creatures, and the Aire
Replenisht, and all those at thy command

To come and play before thee?
 —from the on-line journal of John Maestro Beloved

All night it seemed quiet
until just before the dawn

a cricket chir-chirruped
a cicada thrumsisked

a kangaroo mouse scuttled
from the cupboard across the kitchen

its tiny feet thricking on saltillo
the ceiling stretched and crackled

the wall creaked its contrapuntal answer
the saucepan boiled a bobolick bod dob

the water sisished into the mug
the teabag paflumped its belly out

the dog sasdalloped the insides
of his bowl and it claklitit the floor

the mahogany leaves rasheeted the wind
the dry leaves kashie kashied

then a jay cursed and a crow
clacked and khawed and a robin 

said donde and a hummingbird
phummed its invisible wings by the feeder

and a lost goose awked above the house
a meadowlark tee tee weefee teewhee teeewheed

the rosefinches and sparrows djueed teedleeted
around the grainbowl all their songs

growing wings and flapflapping their way
into a sky stuffed already cramfull wih sound

Fugue Sunrise Tea Kitchen Table – published in Stone Wind Water, 2010, by the Black Rock Press, University of Nevada, Reno. Reprinted by permission.

David Lee

David Lee was Utah’s first poet laureate. In 2001, he was the finalist-runner up for United States Poet Laureate. He is the author of two dozen volumes of poetry, including The Porcine CanticlesA Legacy of ShadowsSo Quietly the EarthLast Call and Mine Tailings. 

A former seminary student and semi-pro baseball player (the only white player to ever play in the Texas Negro Leagues for the Post, Texas Blue Stars) and hog farmer, he has a PhD. with a concentration in John Milton. He taught at Southern Utah University for over three decades where he received every teaching award given by the university, including being named Professor of the Year on three occasions.

His awards include multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Western States Book Award, Mountain and Plains States Booksellers Award, Critics Choice Award, Utah Book Awards, Elkhorn Poetry Prize, Evolutionary Poem of the Year, Utah Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Utah Governor’s Merit Award in the Humanities and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

The Utah Humanities Council and Utah Education Association named him one of the top 12 writers in Utah literary history and he was the 5th academic in Utah higher education to be named a Lifetime Fellow by the Utah Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retired, he scribbles and wanders rural roads and byways, all at about the same rate and pace, and maintains his intense training schedule to achieve his goal of becoming a World Class Piddler.

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