male The Poetry Center at Smith College

Poems by Joan Houlihan

Froze by winter blast

[THEN AY KNOW my horse]




what lives toward shows the marks:

auk and owl, insect, horn,

leaf-borne or buried in dirt.

All the sun-soft sheep.

Things the night takes away.

Over the grove, freed of hive,

a bee lifts from its summer bed

to a slit of light one deep

telling its own stung way.

Small, and it lives toward the swarm,

rare from the cluster and blind.

Age, a parcel of rag, ay drag

under open sky.

As if ay lived that long

in cold and cave and chalk,

buried in light holes or soaked with night.

As if in the heat of birds.

Hand, one hand, and Ay tap my chest-

Here, where father built-

then pasture hims shadow, tend him,

coming from sleep as all things do

alive toward the first fires of day.

from AY (Tupelo Press, 2014)






    Poetry Center Readings:

Spring 2014