Two Poems

Jack Underwood

The Anatomy of the Hammock

 

Once, in a hammock, life was a dogleg drive.

I had a worry in my chest like the bad layer

of an onion – I felt strung between two things:

I closed my eyes and I was moving.

I opened them and I was not.

We are nearing the conclusion of this anatomy.

We are strung between the point of ending, and

the point of having started. Above me leaves layer up,

but do not hide the sky. Below me the ants move,

seemingly meaningful. Their little minds agree,

each like a high musical note. They arrive

from a hole I have no idea about, then disappear

down another such hole, I can only imagine.

I wonder about them. For some minutes.

 

Love Poem

 

The streets look like they want to be frying eggs

on themselves. I’m thinking of you and going

itchy from it. I keep expecting to see a nosebleed

on the hot, yellow pavement. Every thought is

a horse fly. When you’re not here I concentrate

on getting somewhere safely; and when I get to

somewhere safe I gnaw the day until you’re home.

1964
To Zagreb