Two Poems By Mark Strand


~ for Richard Howard

Men are running across a field,
pens fall from their pockets.
People out walking will pick them up.
It is one of the ways letters are written.

How things fall to others!
The self no longer belonging to me, but asleep
in a stranger’s shadow, now clothing
the stranger, now leading him off.

It is noon as I write to you.
Someone’s life has come into my hands.
The sun whitens the buildings.
It is all I have. I give it all to you. Yours,



~ for Donald Justice

The professors of English have taken their gowns
to the laundry, have taken themselves to the fields.
Dreams of motion circle the Persian rug in a room you were in.
On the beach the sadness of gramophones
deepens the ocean’s folding and falling.
It is yesterday. It is still yesterday.


I miss my friends that aren’t here. I miss my poems. I miss a good reason. I’m not bummed, I’m just saying.

Stumble it!


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