Poets Walk: "talk, whistle, & sing"

Poets Walk: "talk, whistle, & sing"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 21

from ten cheremiss (mari) songs by Anselm Hollo


            in the woods: a green leaf


              against my face

it wasn’t a leaf:

                       I had just thought of my lover


come, let the two of us

go pull up some leeks!

we’ll be together,

one soul around us.


woke up early,

went & carved my name

in the bark of an apple tree.

contemplated what i have

& what I do not have.


in the dark before dawn

we walk through the woods,

talk, whistle, & sing.

don’t listen to those sounds

as if they were songs.

they are the sounds of our pain.


you dream that you are traveling through water:

thus, you emerge from grief.

Anselm Hollo, excerpt from "Ten Cheremiss (Mari) Songs" from Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence: Selected Poems 1965-2000. Copyright © 1983, 2001 by Anselm Hollo. Used by permission of Coffee House Press, www.coffeehousepress.org.