The Outdoor Poet: William Minor


Two snowy egrets:
side by side, on a submerged
rock; they perch upon
two pinnacles that emerge
above water. These birds love

one another, but
side by side, they do not touch,
although they are so
much in love they seem to touch
the full length of their bodies.

You and I are these
two birds, side by side, in love
the full length of our
bodies: pinnacles, emerged,
and a rock beneath water.


Full moon tonight, and my arms are full
of memory, and songs to remind me
that the state of affairs the Greeks
called nostalguia (a word they took
from nosteo: to go back or return,
but never a return to what once was)
is nothing new for anyone.

“I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll
be seeing you” mingles with …”the moon
is there for us to share, but where are you?”
And I know this you is universal, timeless
too, and holds a thousand faces, one
of which is yours, indelible, irreplaceable
as the face of the full moon.

I know where to find you, but that
will do me little or no good, for you
are far beyond me now, inaccessible as
that other, younger life of mine I left
behind, or lost, somewhere along the way.
Not that I’d know what to do with either
should I run across them now; just smile

politely perhaps, and tip the stylish hat
I never wore (nor ever owned)
and pass on down the road.

About The Writer William Minor’s most recent book of poems is Some Grand Dust (Chatoyant). He has published three books on jazz (most recent Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within) and The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir. A professional musician since the age of 16, he has released three CDS: the most recent Love Letters of Lynchburg. He is a hilltromper in that, not having driven an automobile for 48 years, he walks nearly everywhere.

The Outdoor Poet is edited by Robert Sward, author of numerous books of poetry including, most recently, New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011 (Red Hen Press). He lives on the Westside with his wife, the artist Gloria Alford, and a poodle mix named Cosette. Participation in The Outdoor Poet is by invitation.

Photo by Peter Massas

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