Thursday, September 14, 2017

"August" by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “August” by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy.  In addition a previous appearance in Songs of Eretz, his poetry is forthcoming or has most recently appeared in Picaroon Poetry, Right Hand Pointing, Lunch Ticket, Cacti Fur, and Poetica's 2017 Mizmor L'David Anthology. 

A software engineer born and raised in the United States, Hammer-Kossoy and his family now resides in Israel.  Follow him on Twitter @whichofawind.

Yoni Hammer-Kossoy

There's a moment at the turn of twilight
when summer-worn sky colors like ripe plums
and the air unfolds with cool charity 
of a song’s remembered refrain.
A dog barks, the moon leans low and slender,
two boys kick a soccer ball that fades
to a black and white smudge
and even they admit it's time for dinner.
Like any moment of a given year
it might pass with unspoken ease
the way a school of fish slips
between shadow and dappled currents.
But I've saved this one for you
to open and tuck carefully away.

Poet’s Notes:  I started the first draft of what would eventually become “August” a few years ago, as one might imagine, on a warm, late-summer evening after returning home from work. There was something about the light that evening that somehow felt both mysterious and charged with meaning.  I dropped everything and just wrote for the next half-hour or so, after which I had a long, formless stream of images. It was far more of a placeholder than an actual poem, but even then I felt an incredible sense of relief at having grasped something unspeakable and somehow translated it into words. 

Editor’s Note:  The metaphors employed here are gorgeous, and the way the speaker directly addresses the reader in the final two lines is breathtaking. 

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